Saturday, June 7, 2014

Medicine Horn

This sculpture "Medicine Horn" was inspired when I heard the news that the African Black Rhino had become extinct. I ask how can we not grieve such a loss? How is it we are not grieving for all the plants and animals that are becoming extinct on our watch? The upper section of this piece is a rattle intended to quietly wake up the sleeping primal connection we have to all living beings. The lower section is a container to carry the tears that will become medicine that heals our broken connection to spirit.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Loosing touch with nature

I feel a sense of urgency that in our accelerated state of technological evolution, it is imperative that we reconnect to the wisdom of our elders to help guide us into the future.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Becoming a Man

 Burial 1998 14x11x14 inches
part of the ritual series, something we are so dearly missing 

I am a Man
A Green Man
I speak for the earth
For the trees and the animals
I have spoken all my life
And will speak after my death
Our earth is dying
We are loosing our soul
Men have lost their foundation and their beacon to guide their way
Lost in “things” and not another navigational device nor gadget will lead him home
Home is within, it is the time to go inside, seek, repent and feel
Feel the shame the sadness the anger the guilt and the fear
Feel it
Feel it fully and pick your sorry self up off the kitchen floor
Do something Man
Be a man and find your guiding light
Do this and you will not be lead astray
The earth needs you
The woman and children have been waiting
It’s time to wake up
It’s time to speak up and shout
For the air the water the plants and the animals
They are all your relations
You, your fathers your sons and your brothers that hold the power to heal
It is you that must take the heroes journey
Down into the darkness within your soul
Feel the shame the sadness the anger the guilt and the fear
Then and only then will you feel the true joy it is to be a Man.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Leaving Floyd

My lovely swimming pond.
I’m going to miss this place Floyd Virginia, some famous someone’s wife said Virginia’s the last stop before heaven and Edger Casey felt this is a vortex of consciousness I think that just may be true and with that said all things must change and this is no exception. After five years of living in relative isolation among this two hundred acres of nature preserve with my bugs, the dear, birds, turtles, mice, the so many critters and my neighbor Doug down the road all have become my most unusual friends. The people and the friends I’ve made here, many will be forever and all will be a part of my soul. My heart has opened here it has broken here and it will always be better for all that I have experienced here in Floyd VA.
 It’s time for a new view though, maybe a slight contrast from this town of 400 souls, the one street light, the farms and gardens, the hunters and gatherers, everything here comes directly from the ground, caught, grown or made. I am moving to NYC, Brooklyn in fact, Bushwick to be exact, that’s where my head is going to lay for a while maybe longer? No more walking out my front door naked to pee at the edge of the forest. Walking my summer path to dive in the swimming pond, morning strolls down to the river, stomps in the woods collecting mushrooms for dinner, and the nights of a billion stars. Things are going to look a little different, people lots of people, buildings, lots of concrete, around my cabin I can’t find concrete to step on, in NY it’s tough to find some dirt to stick my bare foot on. With that said there is nothing like contrast to wake up the sleeping part that forgot what life on the edge is like. The people the subway the buildings the traffic the chaos and the order, it is still nature, human nature, it’s still primal, it’s still beautiful and it’s different, way different than just me in the woods.
 I think there is something for me in NYC and even more I think I have something to bring to the city. After absorbing such a deep respect and experiencing the wisdom that nature is I feel I have something inside that can be healing in the city. I don’t know what it may be, but my art reflects it by using what nature gifts me and adding my embellishment, I believe it may resonate to the core of our soul that is connected to nature whether we live in it or not.
Still a few months before the move is complete but in a few days I will be there for a month or more setting up for the full thing to happen.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Point?

The point of continuing the pursuit of art can sometimes be elusive. What is the next piece going to be and why? I ask this question between the acts of making art and rarely do I come up with a satisfactory answer. Then back in the studio and in the art of making art there seems to be no questions, as all seems to be answered. I can only explain this to myself as the spirit of creativity, whatever that is flowing through. It is my bliss to build to create and to let my hands speak for my heart. The language is of pain and joy of care and of longing. My muse is nature the enviroment and the human condition. I so want to heal my connection to my nature as a man; I so want to heal man’s connection to the natural enviroment. I deeply believe and in my form of prayer (my art) I ask that human kind just stop and look. Look closely at what it is we really are longing for, is it more and bigger and better and cooler or trendy or is it really recognition and love? If only for a moment could we step off the collective treadmill and take a walk in the woods or the mountains the seashore or even get down on our hands and knees for one small hour in our lives and be on the ground just to watch what happens, I bet we would go insane.

And into sanity we must if we are going to find true happiness once again.

Above is an Image of my current show at Les Yuex de Monde. I once again am creating my “man made” form extending from a “nature made” form and I am most interested in the integration of the two

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Burden Boat Project

The Burden Boat Project.

I will be conducting this ceremony on 9/11 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC this weekend. Conducting I call it rather than a performing as this is not entertaining but a ritual and it involves all that choose to participate. This project has opened me up to something new within. It is easy to call myself an artist because I have twenty-five years of art in my wake, but this has woken up the healer, shaman and ritualist within me. At first this was intimidating to my ego, as I do not have a shaman certificate but gosh I never went to art school either. When I get out of my own way and just allow my life to unfold moment-by-moment this is the kind of thing that happens, I become more then what I thought I was. I am coming to believe we are all more then we think we are and we all are healers in one form or another.

This whole project came from my need to heal my own deep pain. With a broken heart and a broken spirit and pain that I questioned whether I could endure, I came back to my art for healing. I sewed by hand dozens of canvass bags and stuffed them with my wood chips, these chips represented my pain and something inside felt better when I had that pain in bags that I could see, hold, feel the weight of and hang outside myself. I eventually found joy again in my life and after that intense dark time the joy was felt with more gratitude then I had ever known before. I found myself smiling again and even laughing often all by myself as I walked in the woods.

Shortly after this I was invited to show at the Art gallery of Virginia Tech. The pain I had just gone through gave me compassion for the victim’s families and loved ones involved with the mass shootings that took place a couple years prior on the campus. I wanted to do something meaningful to help ease the pain. The bags I stuffed with my pain, now called burden bags and the healing I found in them sparked the idea to do a participatory art project as part of the sculpture show. A beautiful curved piece of wood showed up that spoke of boat shape and the idea of the Burden Boat originated.

A vessel for people to write their burdens down and place them outside themselves. A place to collectively lighten the load we carry and to realize that we all carry pain not just our own but also the collective pain of others. This allowed the opportunity to see that so many others are carrying burdens as the boat filled we could see that we were not alone in the struggles of life. Over the duration of the show the boat filled with more scraps of paper all inscribed with burdens people were ready to let go of. A courageous act to let go of something we may have held onto for perhaps a lifetime and even holding the identity of who we think we are. On the last day of the show, the burden boat was carried outside onto the grounds of the campus and a ceremony was conducted, the burdens were set ablaze the burden bags that hung over the boat by strings burned through and fell in to a hole dug in the earth, the notes turned to ash and the heaviness of all those burdens became as light as smoke.

On 9/11 the Burden Boat will be carried to the courtyard of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait gallery. Here a new ritual will be conducted to release the burdens associated with the pain of 9/11 ten years later. This time instead of fire the burdens will be cleansed with water. The boat will be placed in a “scrim” of water, a (shallow flowing stream) and water will be poured over the burdens, cleansing them and washing them down stream.

The wet paper now cleansed of burdens will be collected and re-pulped into new handmade sheets of paper and a book will be created for people to write their hopes dreams and intentions of what to do with the space within opened up by the release of their burdens.

This is to happen in a few days from now, I prepare the space and myself and when the time comes it is my job to simply step aside and allow spirit to move as it dose.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Art heals. I believe all art heals in some way, as self-expression and this way of being in our authenticity is a healing act. I have an interview today with a fox TV station of all things. I will be asked what is it that I do and why?

I do not really know what will come out of me but deep down I trust that the spirit of my creator self knows exactly what to say. Maybe something like this. Art is a journey of the soul, the soul is the journey of the self and through connection art and the true self makes a connection to our divine source. I do not claim to be always in an ecstatic state when I do my art but I can claim there is an overall deep down satisfaction that this is what I do with my life.

The art that I make is inspired and connected to nature. How did that happen? I was a suburban kid and still I found nature in my back yard. I feel we are so deeply rooted in nature no matter where and how we live and I also feel sadly that we deny this of our selves. A form of beauty that’s free available to all and is what we are.

I being a dude with a big fat ego wants to save the world, I with a humble sense of realization of how small I am still want to do something of “good”. So I have set myself down in the land of the Blue Ridge Mountains alone and deep in the woods and I sit. I listen to the birds, the wind, feel the air and contemplate? What the heck am I doing here?

At this point my answer is I am here to absorb the essence of the majestic land, make art from it and take what is created here and transport it into the urban world. I feel the power of the entire forest rests in a single branch, trunk or root. These trees have been here longer then people and they live in the elements all the time, they are the weather, the sounds in the forest, and the still constant motion of life, death and rebirth.

To take a portion of a tree back to my studio, working it by following the energy or natural direction of it’s growth and adding my element as artist/creator and then turning it into something referred to as art. Upon completion it becomes a co-creation with nature. Then to bring it into a gallery, a museum or a home, it now emanates that power of the forest into the human created space.

The beauty I see in this is in the contrast. We as rather sophisticated beings create living spaces based on beauty and function. Nature is all about function and the outcome is often seen as beautiful. Bringing these elements together is a natural co-existence of what I choose to believe is our true nature.

So perhaps I’ll say something similar to that.