ARTIST STATEMENTS

Viriditas

November 2012 at the Center for New Media at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Opening Reception, Friday, November 2nd from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

This exhibit brings together many new pieces of artwork with a few that are older. I’ve chosen these to come together because they were all created to communicate “something” that I recently discovered had a name: VIRIDITAS.

In April of 2012 I came across an article that stated Pope Benedict had recently canonized a 12th Century nun by the name of Hildegard Of Bingen. The article said that Hildegard was a 12th Century feminist who gave counsel to many powerful men: Pope Eugene III, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Archbishop Henry of Mainz, and Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, to name a few. She also composed soaringly beautiful music, wrote books, painted paintings, and had a unique understanding of nature. Hildegard Of Bingen used the word VIRIDITAS to communicate the strong “greening power” she recognized in the nature of the cosmos. I was intrigued so I bought 3 of her books and started to read more about this fascinating woman and VIRIDITAS. I soon realized that in the 12th Century, Hildegard Of Bingen was communicating in words and music something very similar to what I feel the need to communicate in my artwork. It has to do with “connection”. I will use this quote from Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Mars Trilogy” to help describe what I mean:

“Look at the pattern this seashell makes. The dappled whorl, curving inward to infinity. That’s the shape of the universe itself. There’s a constant pressure, pushing toward pattern. A tendency in matter to evolve into ever more complex forms. It’s a kind of pattern gravity, a holy greening power we call VIRIDITAS, and it is the driving force in the cosmos. Life, you see.”

The artwork in this exhibit visually displays my personal perception of this “greening power” Hildegard Of Bingen called VIRIDITAS. For me it is a sense of spiritual connection with the life giving force of this universe. In keeping with much of my artwork, it was created to honor all the living things that exist in every aspect of creation and to represent a sense of life with no limitations of space and time, a sharing of spirit, mind and heart, a spiritual recognition and belonging, a joining in an ancient and eternal way.

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ARTIST STATEMENTS

Out of the Wasteland

From my experiences I see that many of us in western civilization are living in a wasteland of sorts. What do I mean by “wasteland”?  The author Nigel Pennick tells us that through our human history and ancestry we have had a collective cultural relationship with the landscape. He explains that we are not separate from the landscape – we are part of it. Reality is what we walk, see, touch, and experience. Pennick states that the “wasteland” comes when the living landscape is rejected or ignored and when humans, in favor of material wealth, abandon the spiritual aspect of nature.

The northern and western European folk tradition is particularly rich in tales regarding this spiritual aspect of nature or the “spirit of the land”. I have traveled throughout 15 countries that share this folk tradition and have, many times, experienced this atmosphere or presence in the landscape that seems to exist beyond the everyday realm of my modern human cognizance.
In this “Out of the Wasteland” artwork I am striving to visually communicate this spirit or soul of a place that I have witnessed along with the human collective relationship with the landscape. I attempt to not only reproduce what I see through my eyes but also create a visual representation of what I experience. The artwork visually displays a personal sense of spiritual connection and an invisible and inaudible communication. It is created to honor all the living things that exist in every aspect of the landscape. Often I portray this life in human form in order to relay the precious and beautiful qualities of all life. On the whole, the imagery in the artwork is meant to represent a sense of life with no limitations of space and time, a sharing of spirit, mind and heart, a spiritual recognition and belonging, a joining in an ancient and eternal way.