Fertile Grounds: of minds, wombs and the earth

Public Art Installation, 2019

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds: of minds, of wombs and the earth 

A selection of my artwork are altar installations that represent an amalgamation of women’s issues, their relationships to society and their resiliency.  These installations include an autobiographic and spiritual aspect with a metaphysical interpretation.  Throughout my artwork, I play with the notions of perfect imperfection, temporality and the influence of science and sacred geometry has on the way we perceive art, our environment and each other.

In this altar installation, Fertile Grounds, I represent how plastics and other non-recyclable man-made materials have a deleterious physical, emotional and ecological impact on the health of women and of our planet.  Today the Earth is unable to absorb the mass amounts of unrecyclable materials that pollute its air, soil, and waters as well as its flora and fauna.  Plastics present a signification problem: Yearly, about 300 billion pounds is produced globally and less than 5% is recycled. Due to the actions of the sun, saltwater and temperatures, plastics dumped into the oceans break into small pieces and are easily dispersed. A “floating garbage dump”, named The Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch, a circular pattern of seawater in Pacific Ocean, like a tumor is still growing.  Similarly, a woman’s body can be overwhelmed by unhealed injuries and unresolved trauma that the body cannot manage, may manifest as cyst, tumors, fibroids and other growths.  Additionally, research reveals that other plasticizers a chemical widely used in cosmetics, personal care products, have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, and other threats. 

The installation consists of fabric-wrapped talking sticks, hung from the ceiling by nylon roping and attached to a triangular-shaped wooden substrate. The talking sticks—used by indigenous cultures to designate the authority to speak within a group, to promote democracy and encourage dialogue—are used in this installation to represent the double helix of a DNA strand.  They are referencing the damage and injury to the DNA that shows up in the female reproductive organs.  The formation of talking sticks symbolizes an abstracted representation of a uterus. 

On the floor underneath the taking sticks are a combination of painted plastic circular representations of fibroids, portions of patches of grass sod and other plastic unrecyclable materials.  In which collectively symbolizes “fertile grounds”. These grounds are going to create as they are seeded…more plastics and unresolved pain….will reap more injury both to our planet and its inhabitants. 

Fertile Grounds refers to the potency of our minds, our bodies and very specifically our sexual (reproductive) organs and the Earth itself. My goal is to convey the message that fertile grounds are like sacred depositories or vaults that need and deserve our mindful attention regarding what and how we mentally feed or nourish ourselves with.

The installation can viewed at by appointment only, please contact info@nicholsonproject.org.

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Beth Ferraro

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Beth Ferraro

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim

Fertile Grounds; of minds, of wombs and of the earth, Detail, Mixed Media Public Art Installation, 2019, The Nicholson Project, Washington, DC, Photo taken by Anne Kim