Jury - 2021 CHESTER COUNTY STUDIO TOUR

Mixed Media

We live in a time of great reckoning. Healing the devastation of our natural world and resolving multiple global crises won’t be painless.

Wendell Berry advises spiritual renewal through connection. “To take care of the world, we have to know it. And to know it, and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.” We are most alive when loving brings “a diffuse gratitude that irradiates every aspect and atom of the world.”

In The Spirit of Place installation I explore the simple beauty of natural objects, joined with “found things” of the Brandywine Valley. Boards of weathered barn-siding evoke the values of authenticity, respect and gratitude—their knots a testimony to a tree’s struggle to thrive. Faded paint and rusty nail holes tell the farmer’s story of hammering a shelter for his horses.

I carry these stories forward by assembling wood into Pennsylvania Dutch-like hex signs and stretching leather drumheads over frames. Bright paint and gold leaf fill hearts, stars, geometric and fractal shapes—the archaic symbols of farming communities so dependent on seasonal cycles.

My Re-enchantment Series appeals to our mythic imagination as inspiration for spiritual renewal. As Tolkien says, “We’ve come from a divine source and the myths woven by us, though they contain error, reflect a splintered fragment of the true light.” I explore the true history of the Unicorn; draw on Celtic art with its deep connection to the natural world; and illuminate the wisdom of the ancient sages.