It began years ago. A gravitational pull to the coast that some folks feel at times. And an introduction to a creature-self whom has captured my imagination ever since. Fortunate to have lived along the coast for a time, and further still, blessed to visit again each summer in spite of being land-locked the rest of the year, I have pursued knowledge of this being, though I did not know what it was I was after. Perhaps I still don’t. But evidence of her existence has built up. And I am introducing the results of my research as part of an art show opening next week.
“My most recent body of work explores a duplicity of place through the lens of traditional narrative and meditation upon liminal frontiers found in natural places. For this series, North Atlantic legends of “Selkie” creatures (part seal, part human) are the basis for a collection of images and artifacts depicting the life of a being that exists on both land and water, while not a true part of either world. Many years of walking the wrack line on both sides of the North Atlantic have fed my obsession with imagery, material and lore of the coast. These works form an exploratory self portrait of object and image that speak of an inner dialogue between myself and the world at large.”
Among my sketchbooks are years of drawings that have led to the discoveries present in this body of work. Some of these drawings will be on display, along with items found along the salted wrack line of the North Atlantic…
…permitted to grow salt crystals from the sea…
Other things were crafted by me, prior to gathering their crystals…. (The shells below were crafted from bronze.)
This creature, the legendary Selkie of the North Atlantic tends to take cover amongst a variety of seaweed species. Often these can be found washed upon the shores….
(Seaweeds; knitted, felted wool, found fish bones, salt crystals, 2013)
(more Seaweed, below. Also knitted, felted wool, salt crystals, 2013)
Occasionally, messages would wash up onto the shore…. “When lightning strikes water, it purifies it.”
Sea faring vessels know of Selkie and her mysterious ways….
Sometimes sea captains communicate with her with a knotted language only those of the sea can interpret….
Selkie can be found in the shadows of the deep, at play among schools of colorful fishes flitting about….
At the center of her lies a tender heart, easily bruised. As I have discovered more about her ways, I have learned to walk silently along the shores. Only then might I learn more from her.
Selkie is filled with a depth that will garner more observation and of course paintings. I do not think I have seen the last of her in my studio….
She has taught me much about paint and patience. About Other-Worlds, both Inner and Outer. And I timidly introduce her here for those of you out of town and unable to visit her in person….
If you are in town and can make it to the show, my work is only a small part of a larger show and I am in such great company with other artists who allow Nature to mushroom amidst their imaginations and in their studios.
Do join us if you can, and as always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated. Peace.