Symbols Tell Stories

This is the beginning of a participatory art project, using community-sourced symbols to create a visual language that tells of our relationship to local ecology. Folk art is derivative of direct experience with the landscape. Specific adaptations to local environments give rise to unique forms of creative expression, born out of necessity. The oldest known form of magic, pictographs were used to appeal to nature in an effort to obtain some form of control. In the current era, however, it is nature that requires our healing and protection through re-enchanting our relationship with her.

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Seasonal Affective & Self-Love

Once the Yule log has burned out, the wine has been drunk, the feast consumed, gifts opened and songs sung by family gathered and now disbanded again – the darkness of the season finally sets in. It really is the most wonderful time of year, but on the other side of the holidays, there’s a struggle waiting to be wrestled with each and every Winter. I’ve always found that the darkness has value – as it allows light to shine, and the cold has value – as it allows the land to restore itself before fruiting again in the Spring, but with this utility comes suffering. I imagine that a diminutive Persephone lives inside of us, our emotional wells drying up with the deep freeze, becoming brittle after giving so much and having more still taken against our wills. Understandably then, we are in need of self-care this month – inner reflection and outward projection of our best possible selves. 

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Art is Medicine

Art is a way of understanding past experience as well as a way to see things anew. It allows us to contextualize and reframe ideas about ourselves and our place in the world. Most directly understood intuitively, with subtle forces at work on a subconscious level, both viewing and making art can elevate us from the slog. Carving out a physical anchor-point to mindfulness practice, an art object can trigger an opportunity for moments to breathe deeply with the senses and s – t – r – e – t – c – h calcified neural networks, opening the heart. Like utilizing a guided meditation, physical works of art can awaken the heart to itself by becoming a shelter for daydreams, intentions and quietude.

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