In Pursuit of Hallowed Ground
Medium: Mixed Media on Canvas: Acrylic, Tissue Paper, Paper, Cardboard, Cheese Cloth, Wooden Beads, Twine & Feathers.
Size: 48″ x 36″
The subject is on a journey, in search of something ineffable and altogether mystifying. Consumed by an unalterable sense of purpose, she audaciously traverses forests and glaciers “in pursuit of hallowed ground.” Her journey is marked by unimaginable obstacles, but also blessed by fortuitous guidance. She is comforted by the unbridled nature of the wind, the howling of wolves and the spectacle of the night sky. In times of peril, she disarms her adversaries with an insidious smile, bewitching them into a state of ineptitude. Her desire to find this mysterious essence fuels her, rendering her resolute, even implacable, in her quest. The journey itself is an act of defiance. She is hoping to find or reclaim what was lost, forgotten, or perhaps hidden. In so doing, she refuses to inherit the limitations of what has hitherto been predicated as true.
A Note on the Inspiration:
If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me
I held it in but now it seems you’ve set it running free
Screaming in the dark, I howl when we’re apart
drag my teeth across your chest to taste your beating heart
My fingers claw your skin, try to tear my way in
You are the moon that breaks the night for which I have to howl
“Howl” by Florence + The Machine
I listened to the albums Lungs and Ceremonials repeatedly while painting “In Pursuit of Hallowed Ground.” The music of Florence + The Machine impresses a seductive fatalism on the psyche, transporting you to a primordial place of carnality, rapture, vengeance, and struggle. There is a dark, epochal quality to the music that envelops you, and entices you to join in. You feel awakened into a trance-like state that beckons you to abandon all control in favor of satisfying your primal, even savage, desires. Most vitally, the music grants you the opportunity to let go, to release the “demons” inside you.
Looking up from underneath
Fractured moonlight on the sea
Reflections still look the same to me
As before I went under
And it’s peaceful in the deep
Cathedral where you cannot breathe
No need to pray, no need to speak
Now I am under all
And it’s breaking over me
A thousand miles down to the sea bed
Found the place to rest my head
Never let me go
“Never Let Me Go” by Florence + The Machine
A Note on the Process: I created the background using layers of tissue paper and cheesecloth. I used modeling paste to adhere the mixed media layers to the canvas. I lightly sponged white paint over the background using crumpled saran wrap. To create the coat, I used strips of various paper, painted cardboard, feathers, wooden beads and twine.