The rubbings in this collection come from El Panteone General in Oaxaca, Mexico, and from San Isidro Cemetery in Corrales, New Mexico.
Life and death are inextricably paired in an eternal dance. In "Danza con los Muertos/Dances with the Dead" I am exploring this paradoxical pairing through combined cemetery tombstone rubbings, photography, and mixed materials.
In a way, this is an extension of a childhood experience. I remember my genealogist mother taking us with her on searches for ancestral gravestones where we would rub chalk on the stones to reveal the inscriptions.
In addition to the names, dates, and stories I always was intrigued by the many different patterns engraved on the stones.
But life and death are so naturally and inextricably linked, what truly is “the end”?
Such a holding of death as a natural part of life, reveals an eternal ongoing dance of beauty and wonder.
My hope is that these pieces provide an opportunity for viewers to gently experience that universal tension of life’s beginnings and endings, theirs and others. And perhaps thereby even gain insights into how myriad different cultures and histories have arisen exactly from the same beginnings and endings.
In a similar manner, this “tangible art-of-stuff” is simultaneously a dance with an “intangible stuff-of-art”.
While my work is always light-hearted and joy-filled, my personal challenge with “Dances with the Dead” was to bring the same sensitivity and consciousness to this human paradox.
I find myself as a contemporary abstract artist drawn to both an external ”real” world of paint, paper, and texture, and at the same time, to an internal “surreal, imaginal” world of intuitive guidance and inspiration.
In this case, the materials are a variety of acrylics, photographic images, papers, and textures, plus my delight in attempting an orchestration that both engages the viewer and challenges my current artistic abilities.