August 01, 2014
Shamanism is an ancient spiritual system. Shamans often worked with animal totems, had extensive knowledge of the plant world and were completely connected to nature. Sometimes employing fetishes to achieve the goal of healing. Animal spirits move with ancient history reaching toward ascension to a spirit plane. The emic tradition of animal spirits is a adopted by many including Egyptian, Greek, African, Hindu, Buddhist, and Aztec cultures among others who worshiped various animals, birds and reptiles. In Native American culture it is believed by some, that ones animal spirit enters into a child at birth. Animal spirits come to you. It is not a choice you make, it is made for you, affording the opportunity to connect with nature and a higher awareness. Human beings have primal instincts. I believe these instincts and how we respond can reveal our animal spirits. These works address the concept of a higher guide within our-selves. The shamanic practice can be similar to some artistic practice. In that both work to access the collective unconscious by entering into a state of meditative thought where time is suspended in an effort to create energy on a higher plane.
The project is comprised of five figurative fetishes. Each piece contains embedded animal spirits created with ritual techniques such as binding, wrapping, encasing and weaving. The project departed from a meditation on a singular line, “The Darkest Evening of the Year” taken from a Robert Frost poem. Although I have my own narrative, I prefer the viewer to find their own mythology in the works. In the age of technology although we have made remarkable advancements, we have lost touch with our past connection to nature. The project looks at empowerment objects, multi-cultural ritual practices and literary reference. The project would offer the audience the possibility to re-examine their own connection to nature and ultimately look within themselves to find a higher spiritual awareness.