With less than two weeks to go, I am working a bit frantically to complete all of the little details for my next art installation, a show called Marginalized. I'm fairly excited about this installation because it's showing in a very conservative venue in my very conservative town, where I think it needs to be seen. It's not that I think these installations will change people's behaviors in some big epiphatic (if that's even a word) way, but they might make people stop and think, because, at the very least, they will certainly make many of them uncomfortable.
Marginalized includes my own work concerning our connections to and disconnections from animals along with my studio mate Terri J Miller's portraits of third and forth world women. The show will open on the first Friday in May at 6 PM in the Soul Cafe in Lynchburg, Virginia. It's an interdisciplinary show. The installations I am showing are mixed media combining multiple painted portraits of animals with quotes from various literary and historical texts about those animals. The quotes show how we learn from various sources a hierarchical language which serves to disconnect us from the idea of ourselves as animals. After all, Homo sapiens is simply another species like every other. But, we think of ourselves as something different, something better, something separate from the rest of the species on earth. Surely, we are not animals. Then, we often use that hierarchical thinking to marginalize others, and not just animals or indigenous people, but our very own community members, the person next door who is "different." This art installation is geared towards making people really look at how hierarchical thinking and language disconnects and distances us from others.
Terri and I will be including performance pieces in Marginalized, as well, via our djembe drumming group, Nataraja. We will be performing ancient drumming rhythms from around the world, some of the earliest known forms of long distance communication between tribes. One of my favorite rhythms is one of the earliest known drumming chants called the "Mother Rhythm."It's simple and powerful and has a rich history of being played by and for women.
Anyway, when I say I'm interdisciplinary, I'm not just playing around, folks. If you are a bit of a science nerd, like me, you might say I'm a lumper and not a splitter. I put things together and look at how they interact, where they can combine, what happens when they do. I'm really serious about looking for the power that lies in the places between, where seemingly different and perhaps even opposing forces can come together in new and exciting ways.
In The Ravens Crossing news, a very different, but no less interdisciplinary project I'm involved with, we are a part of the Showers of Books Giveaway Hop for the next couple of days. You can hop on over today to read my Morgan & Holly story and enter to win a $15 Amazon Gift Certificate. All you have to do is leave a comment on one of the stories to be entered. Then, click on the showers icon and you will find a ton of other blogs with giveaways and tons of great authors to read.
Later this week, I'm hoping to have my installation photos ready to share. In the meantime, here are a couple more single images from the two large installations for your enjoyment.