Awen (2016 - 2017)
Awen is a deeper investigation into the construction of myth within the ecosystem of my backyard, and began concurrently with The Carolinian Herbal. I was reading Lady Charlotte Guest’s translation of The Mabinogion (12th century prose stories from Britain), and was fascinated by the story of Ceridwen and her magical cauldron of poetic inspiration, ‘Awen’. Ceridwen’s potion bestowed divine talent with the first drop, but killed with the second. I looked at the ‘ingredients’ within my own ‘cauldron of inspiration’: coyotes, umbrella magnolias, white tail deer, my son’s cereal bowl, my husband’s surfboard, the cats, the dog. Using photographs from my wildlife camera, scans of household objects, and drawings, I assembled these ‘ingredients’ on paper as pictorial potions to conform the literal and metaphoric landscapes of my life to my will. Using UV (invisible) ink, I added alchemical and magical symbols to syncretize my ‘ordinary’ Charlotte landscape with the ‘magic’ that manifests in the domestic. Rearing children, paying bills, loving our significant others can all be magical acts if we ascribe them that power.
These are mixed media (graphite, ink, UV ink, watercolor, salt, and/or cotton thread) over inkjet prints. Not all works include UV imagery, but the ones that do include small keychain UV lights, so the intrepid viewer can search the visible image for hidden messages and symbols. These range in size from ~ 8” x 10” up to 18” x 24” and framed.
Awen is a series of daily creative 'sketches', althouhg not all are visual images. These sketches help me reconnect my various life-roles back to the lore of the North Carolinian landscape in which I now live, work, and practice my arts. Many (but not all) of these works include drawings in invisible ink. (Keychain UV lights are included with each work that includes UV imagery.)