Currently in my studio practice I seem to be switching from literal landscapes- painting from photos just using paint, no mixed media or collage or reclaimed materials involved to my symbolic landscapes. This is one of the symbolic landscapes that I recently completed.
The image of the trees are from a hike I took many years ago in Alaska which is a landscape that I love so much and I hope to return to some day. The bottom part is made from a combination of papers and stained teabag papers laid atop a rusted textile that I stitched on. Earthy layers to show that there is so much life below our feet that we depend on for life to continue. I’ve been reading and hearing about studies about civilizations throughout history falling whenever the top soil gets depleted. Coincidence? Mostly likely not. You’d think we’d learn by now.
Rootedness is something I think about. A lot. Since I was a kid. It’s hard to be a wanderer who actually really wants to be rooted. To find that place that feels just right. That place that probably doesn’t exist except in my head. Yes, I am well aware of that saying- wherever you go, there you are.
But I wonder how it must feel to live in a place where your people, your ancestors have lived for hundreds of years. Or in my case, at least more than two generations! Both of my parents came from different parts of this planet with different languages and different customs from each other, let alone their adopted country. I’ve always felt a sort of displacement from all the different cultural identities that make up my personal history. But honestly that could just be me and my temperament. Most likely. A wanderer who wants to be rooted.
This piece now currently resides in Oregon. Happy that it has found a home.