This drawing reflects the significance that I believe femininity and fertility hold in countless aspects of our day-to-day lives. For thousands of years humans around the world have personified the soul of our fertile planet as Mother Earth, or the Great Goddess. We have numerous Neolithic “Venus” figurines from around the world, “Gaia” and “Terra” from Greek and Roman mythos, “Mut” from ancient Egypt, “Tuuwaqatsi” from the Hopi of the American Southwest, “Durga” from the pantheon of Hindu deities, “Pachamama” of the Andes, and plenty more. Human beings, and all life for that matter, have a common past that is deeply rooted in the earth and her inconceivable capacity for sustaining life.
Within this drawing, the hair of the primordial Goddess enwraps various symbols, which throughout history have been designated by humans to represent elements of the feminine, fertility, and the perpetuation of life. The patterning surrounding the Great Mother is intended to suggest the interconnectedness of all life, given each individual’s relation to Her, as well as one another.
I believe that through cultivating a humbling respect for the cosmic hand that feeds us, we as a species can transform the way act and what we value, as to become more responsible stewards of this life-providing source.
Black & White Charcoal
16" x 24"
Sold (Prints Available)
This black and white charcoal drawing was inspired by concepts within Hinduism, specifically focusing on the practices and beliefs of many sadhus (holy men- “good men”) who roam throughout the country of India on spiritual journeys.
Shortly after learning about Hinduism in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, I found more information about Sadhus in a book I was reading at the time, titled, The Man Who Quit Money, by Mark Sundeen. In conjunction with the knowledge attained from Dr. Moosa’s philosophy class, this book revealed to me how these spiritually-focused Sadhus live in the wilderness of India, seeking spiritual enlightenment through their renunciation of the secular. Many devote their lives to emulating the god Shiva, by practicing yoga, meditation, fasting, wearing their hair in dreadlocks, and smoking charas (hash). In contrast to American society’s views, these men are respected and valued members of Indian society for their dedication to their spirituality and to maintaining detachment from the material world. Indian society views Sadhus’ austere practices as valid means for burning off the karma of individuals and of the community at large, thus Sadhus belong to the highest caste within Indian society, the Brahmins.
For the portraiture part of this piece, I referenced a photograph of an actual Indian Sadhu. In conducting further research, I discovered that swans are a symbol of detachment in Hindu iconography, and rightfully so, given the following symbolic analogy: Much like the holy men of India, who are present in their bodily existence yet strictly resist attachment to anything worldly, swans can sit in water (the world), yet without getting wet (attached) due to the oils in their feathers (or in the Sadhu’s case, devotion to strict asceticism).
For Sadhus, this renunciation of the worldly is seen as a necessary step towards attaining moksha, or liberation. It is for this reason that the top of the figure’s head slowly disintegrates as it moves upwards; because in this belief system the higher or more enlightened one becomes, the less significant the physical plane is as one directs their attention towards spiritual living. The ripple of water underneath is simply to suggest that first step of detachment on the upward path towards moksha.
Archival Pen & Marker
22" x 30"
In doing some research one day, I came across some intriguing material written by a philosopher/musician named David Rothenberg. In the shorts excerpts I found, Rothenberg proposed the profound notion that we humans conceived our idea of “rhythm, synchronization, and dance” from the primordial world of insect sounds that surrounded our species over millions of years as we evolved.
In creating this piece my goal was to visually convey the sacred relationship humans share with their natural surroundings and the sounds that accompanied our species’ evolution. Insects have undoubtedly instilled in us a fascination with rhythm, and from this shared experience, humanity has been inspired to create the diverse multitude of music and dance that, to this day, continues to grow and find new forms of expression. Paying my homage to our friendly little critters around the world!