Ancestral Imagination: Solo Show

Form and Concept Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
September 15 - November 25, 2022

Photo of large round abstract painting on wood disc
"Ancestor Dreams," Ink on birch circle, 24" diameter.
Installation of small circular paintings on birch rounds
"Devotion," installation of painted 3" diameter birch rounds hanging on wire.
"Sanctuary" ink and pastel painting on 24" birch round
"Sanctuary," ink and pastel on birch circle, 24" diameter.

My first major solo show at Form and Concept gallery includes 17 new paintings on wood and an installation of over 50 small paintings hanging from wire. You can view all included work here. A recording of my artist talk can be watched here.

Panoramic photo of exhibition at Form and concept

Artist Statement:

The works in Ancestral Imagination evolve a visual language for the poetics of growth. While they may appear abstract from a distance, upon closer investigation the pieces are full of reference to worlds both invisible and visible - the wonder of creation itself, but also ice crystals, raindrops, cellular structures, the leaves and roots of specific plants, and the architecture of stones and words. These strange paintings are my prayers and spells; they are my synesthetic responses to music and light; and they are improvisations based on the knots and rings of the raw wood underneath them. They form a visual residue of my explorations into the pre-Christian spirituality of my European ancestors, reaching towards the collective consciousness of a time when “white people” were indigenous to specific places and revered rather than destroyed the land. This investigation is a form of resistance against the harmful spiritual appropriation so common to white folks who seek meaning and practices from distant and “exotic” cultures rather than digging into their own lineages.

Creating these pieces is a practice in returning to relationships both grounded and cosmic, particular and vast, rooted in the seasons and landscapes of my adopted New Mexican home. As a solo practitioner who does not have a coven or local community of fellow pagan seekers, these paintings are the sites where I cast a sacred circle and call in the elements and deities to perform whatever transformation needs to happen. I find that viewers feel the magic at work here and get pulled into the spiritual matrix even if they can’t explain what’s happening. I don’t always know where these paintings come from - it feels like they move through me and in some ways manifest themselves. Creating them is an act of devotion and discovery, of rooting myself in something ancient and entirely new.

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