At the Altar
Mixed Media on Canvas, Installations Series, 2010-2015
The At the Altar series is lead by my personal life, my spirituality, my visions, and my materials. I use materials that I come across at thrift stores and items from my own personal use. I categorize and define my materials in three ways. Firstly, the found objects that I use to adhere, sew, and adorn to a structure. Second, are the found structures that I use for the base or foundation of my work. Third, for the actual color of the fabric and objects I use to create with. Hence, my materials change with every artwork. This is one of the aspects of creating that I enjoy the most, the element of change, and subsequently improvisation.
This series includes large-scale, mixed media on canvas installations. I manipulated the canvas to create layers of varying sized folds. I am fascinated with how gravity affects the way the fabric falls and how color, light, and shadow creates pockets of energy and dimension. This series includes: At the Altar: From the Fruit of My Love and Labor, At the Altar: From the Depth of My Womband At The Altar: Jade. These works represent what I bring to my altar as a woman. At the Altar: Fruit of My Love and Labor represents the energy that I currently am and the energy I strive to become. Every day, I try to bring the fruits of love and labor as best as I can and lay them down at my altar, for my self, for my loved ones, my ancestors, and Spirit. Motherhood is my most treasured experience and accomplishment in life. It is a state of being. Once a woman becomes pregnant, has gone through pregnancy, given birth, and subsequently journeys through the process of raising a child, the status of motherhood never ceases. I believe being a mother is the one relationship that actually binds a human being to another. The act of loving and giving birth to a child is a selfless act yet all encompassing. Raising a child is one of the most important aspects of the human experience. At the Altar: From the Fruit of My Love and Labor and At the Altar: From the Depth of My Womb speak to my personal exploration of loving Spirit, myself, my family, and specifically my son.
At the Altar: Fruit of My Love and Labor
At the Altar: Fruit of My Love and Labor, represents the process of bringing forth the efforts of my daily thoughts, intentions and actions as best as I can. Then I lay them down at my altar, for myself, for my loved ones, my ancestors and for Spirit. This exhibition is specifically centered on the intersections of creating and using installation art as a form of altar. A personal altar is a dedicated space, designed and erected to celebrate or commemorate something important; an idea, a person, goal or a life intention. These installations are instruments that speak to my personal exploration of loving Spirit, loving myself, my family and specifically my son.
In 2010, when I was overtaken by a challenge in my life that was so difficult and daunting; I decided to create a personal altar. Once completed, the newly formed altar awoken me to the multiple altars already in my home, which I had previously created. Furthermore, the need to manage and document ‘the daunting” as I worked it through, lead me to create art installations in the form of altars. Hence, the series At the Altar was birthed. The first two iterations of this series were, At the Altar: From the Fruit of My Love and Labor and At the Altar: From the Depth of My Womb. These two works were specifically about cherishing myself as a women as a mother, and my relationship with my son.
Although, throughout my artwork I give voice to issues regarding the sexist and imbalanced treatment of women within a patriarchal society. The Milked series and Milked Man series both hinge on the multiple connotations and denotations associated with the words milk or milked, gender norms and biased societal expectations. Using both personal and recycled objects allows me to examine and question the societal paradigms relating to the treatment of producers or creators in contrast to their product and or creations. Through my work, I seek to examine the parallels between how humanity perceives its greatest resources, men, and women contrary to how we treat each other, our possessions and our environment. The work, The Two Sides of My Spirit is part of the Milked series and Love you entirely, Love you to everlasting pieces of existence hence…I set you free, is a part of the Milked Man series.
In 2014, I created, At The Altar: Dance of the Serpents, which represents the structural constructs of the entanglement of past and present and both the potential power and or the restrictive patterns of repetitive thinking. In this art altar, I choose the snake or serpents, the hanging ropes of dissembled hammock, rice and various religious and cultural icons to symbolize this entanglement that humans must navigate to learn, grow and be at peace with one self. @dsuarts@dsuevents_
My yogic and artistic practices and my unfettered love for Sci-Fi have inspired a healthy interest in Kundalini energy and by extension to snakes and serpents. I am fascinated by how the snake and serpent—in physically and metaphorically— manifests in society throughout the world. They are represented, in both positive and negative ways, throughout multiple religions, cultures, and mythologies. Ultimately, this work conveys my awareness of both the positive and negative aspects of this energy and illuminates the balance that occurs at their intersection.
For this iteration of At The Altar: Dance of the Serpents I have surrounded that altar with a square frame of rice. Within the rice, stands the making of an altar and prayer blanket. Depending on the time period and location within the world rice is a staple food, intricate to the rise of specific civilizations and cultural traditions. Conversely, it also has been used a tool to inflict pain as a form of punishment. Within this installation, the rice is meant to metaphysically represent the inner yet critical strife and dialogue the can occur when teaching, disciplining and quieting the mind in attempt to manage or change one’s own thoughts and or behaviors.