A personal exploration of the feminine identity through various forms of media has become my art focus. The plight of the inherent goddess-like, or saint-like, nature of the Woman is a strong motif throughout my works. Visually inquiring into the progression of a history filled with strong Matriarchs to the point of fear and contempt for female empowerment, I piece together a dazzling web of Feminism.
Primarily, I utilize socially denoted “female” materials and modes of construction, such as: and dyeing fabrics for sculptural works, applying cosmetics to the physical body in an act of “beautification” in a performance, etc. Through these means I am able to delve further into my question of: “What does it mean to be a female [now] - and, how does the divine Feminine energy contribute to the world?”
Due to my ultimate question of gender association, no matter the medium, it is important to constantly dissect the sexual connection/power struggle of male versus female by way of androgenizing each gender, equalizing the “playing field.” Because of this, the work is not conveyed in a hyper-realistic manner nor is it tantamount to do so. Gender roles are a creation of society, an idea or emotive portion of reality, therefore the imagery depicted in my work must also be conceptual in my new definition of gender-equal, female-empowered reality.
My work continues to adhere to the hope voiced in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: “...you could not have a green rose, but perhaps, somewhere in the world, you could…” In the current mass consciousness, one cannot have a completely genderless, or rather full equality, society, but perhaps, through my work, one could.
Salus is one of the most ancient Roman goddesses. She is known for her aid to the health, prosperity, and general welfare of those who call upon her. It is no surprise that this goddess was celebrated on March 30, a time of the year when health and vigor is restored by the agricultural awakening from a wintry rest. Her name derives from the Latin root of “sal” meaning “salt” harkens back to the necessity of mineral content to our bodies and to the earth. Our modern idiom, “salt of the earth” refers to those who have a pure connectivity to the soil, to that which is natural.
The local (Southwest Montana) women celebrated in this show are what I consider to be modern representations of Salus. They all have come to agriculture and Eco-stewardship by different means, however an extremely common thread is their passion for healing, educating, and increasing the health standard of their (local and global) community. Life is not easy for those who choose to dedicate themselves to this form of service, but their work is essential to our lives, livelihood, and the fate
of our very planet.
This collection of work is a celebration (albeit a tad later than March 30) to our own modern Salus. The opening feast for this show is a unique way to incorporate two other strong females, Melissa Harrison and Robin Chopus, whom utilize the fruits of the earth to further heal, increase health, and educate – bringing the goods of our Eco-stewards to the table in a most tantalizing way. It is my hope that this show encourages more visits to local food markets, more personal gardens, and more interest in our local Salus.