Fire, Water, Earth, Air.
The elemental forces that create our world are like siblings, at odds with one another at times. Demanding attention, drawing attention, quiet, sturdy, immobile, transformative, supporting, encouraging…colorful.
Sisters is about the nature of being within those elements. The mountains of Oregon we call Sisters are three peaks of sturdy Earth, snowcapped in good years, craggy old and wise.
Rivers feed the lowlands in the shadow of the Sisters, giving rise to grass, trees, habitat, lush life, drawing water through the landscape.
Wildfire rushes in, dramatic, energized, pushing to break through all boundaries as it transforms air, land, trees, life. How can you not watch it?
Cloud-filled sky absorbs, carries, drops ash, rain, pollen, dust from one space to another. Air is the one who carries the elemental Sisters where they want to go.
- Materials: Cotton, cotton-polyester thread, cording, acrylic paint, dye.
- Series: NA
- Size: 23.5 inches x 40 inches (60 cm x 102 cm)
- Completed: 2023
- Current location: New Zone Gallery, $545 contact gallery to purchase
My Thoughts on the Work
As I drove home afterwork, thinking about the Elements, Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, I pondered my relationship with them and how I might connect to that in my next work. I saw the Sisters peaks. When the mountains are out, I can see them in the very far distance peeking out from amid the Coburg ridge peaks that hug my community. I saw my connection like a glimpse of those peaks, and I followed it.
I’ve been playing with a build-first, dye later process for creating some of my works. That’s what I used for Sisters. The work flowed in phases, much like the lapping of waves on the shore. I had an idea. My Muse pushed it subtly in a direction. I took action…then stopped and waited briefly while the next idea pushed to the surface. With each break, I felt frustrated and disappointed. Something wasn’t quite right, and I’d thought I’d solved it but realized I had not.
Until it was done.
I think that’s a little like what a strong and lasting relationship is like, which was a part of what this work is about. Just because you’re sisters (or brothers or siblings of any sort) doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy a Hollywood relationship with minor conflict that magically resolves, allowing you to live happily ever after. Sibling relationships are powerful no matter what. Even estranged siblings have an ongoing impact on one another. Just like the elements play out to build a landscape as dramatic as that around the Sisters Mountains, your sister will change who you are and who you become in ways no other individual can. Sisters are elemental beings, both the mountain type and the human kind.
That’s what Sisters is really about.