Embodied Land

Encaustic mixed media painting, Embodied Land, by Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Embodied Land, encaustic mixed media, 18×8 inches

When I first started working on the mixed media pieces for my spring shows, I created an 8×8 inch piece of the woods and added metal and paper. You can see it on my IG feed. I liked it, but I kind of felt like it wasn’t done. I’ve learned that when I am feeling that, I shouldn’t ignore it. But I put it aside and just continued on other panels.

Once I started working on the pieces where I was turning trees and grasses upside down to show the reciprocity of what is above land with what is below, it came to me. I need to turn it upside down. And so I did.

I’ve been hearing the term “embodied” a lot lately. I decided to look it up even though I had an idea of what the meaning is, or at least my interpretation. The dictionary defines “to embody” as “making visible”. Or to be embodied would mean to be connected, to be present in one’s body, rather than disconnected. When people talk about feeling embodied in your own body, they use words like “grounded”. In yoga, we are often instructed to ground ourselves into the earth through our feet or back or hands. I imagine rooted tendrils emerging down and into the ground and earth below me. But they don’t just dangle into the ground, they go deep into the earth and link with all the other roots and fungi and living creatures down there. With this current series I really have been wanting to emphasize the life and the world that lies below the surface of what we see. Making the invisible connections, visible.

I framed Embodied Land this week and soon I will be sending it to Lark and Key for the Reclaimed show.

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