Luminous Seeds

Luminous Seeds was a solo exhibit at Holy Ground, a spiritual retreat center in Asheville, NC in the fall of 2007. 

The genesis and evolution of this body of work from the past thirteen years is a spiritual autobiography. Many of the images are seeds, metaphors for beginning life, making Holy Ground the perfect venue for this exhibit. The earliest paintings, part of an earlier series called Waiting for a Myth to Happen are altar-like and populated by mythic figures, angels and images from Italian art. A vertical eye appeared in my work as a symbol for a feminine view of the sacred.

The next paintings, all with vertical eyes as centers, are about the elements and directions. This work emerged from workshops with Starhawk, Margot Adler and rituals with my women’s group. The eye transformed itself into a seed. The title of the large blue painting, Each of Them is True is the last line of a poem by Kukei, an 8th century Buddhist master, where the seed is the sky. Buddhist teachers used seeds as a metaphor to describe qualities we already possess but which grow and bear fruit as we become awake through the process of meditation. The smaller paintings, also have beads like tiny seeds, sewn to each one.

The newly completed constructions, from 2007, were made to create a unified sacred context for this entire body of work. They are fragile and impermanent and are assembled from charred wood, beaded snakeskin, sewn seeds, seedpods, beads and wire, empty frames, dried flowers, beaded metal plates, fabric, photos and deer bones. These ephemeral materials, their titles and imagery are personal responses to my practice of Buddhist meditation in the Soto Zen tradition.. Some titles refer to writings by Dogen Zenji, a 12th century master and founder of Soto Zen, a great Japanese teacher who put his primary emphasis on the practice of zazen, seated meditation.

 

 

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