Mask of Anarchy: A Cover
On exhibition at CIIS February 1st – April 20th, 2019
Mask of Anarchy: A Cover
In October of 2018, President Judie Wexler sent a message to the CIIS community titled Reaction to Hate. I was greatly inspired by her call for action. This project is my response. It is my hope that the CIIS community shares in this conscious petition, the notion: “to defend our liberties and repel the forces that seek to take them from us” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 opening scene).
The fresco imagery was created to symbolize modern suffering. The curtain of 1000 cranes is an action of hope for change. Marimo Moss Balls are living representatives of healthy eco systems. They consume harmful algae and create a thriving environment for aquatic animals. A meditation cushion and supplies for folding cranes are present for those who wish to participate in conscious contemplation, an act of nonviolent resistance.
The poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley The Mask of Anarchy is the focal point of this artwork. Shelley wrote this political poem in 1819 immediately following the Peterloo Massacre. It was not published during Shelley’s lifetime, rejected due to the belief that “the public at large had not become sufficiently discerning to do justice to the sincerity and kind-heartedness of the spirit that walked in this flaming robe of verse.” (Leigh Hunt, The Examiner). It was a call for freedom. Many believe it was the first code of nonviolent resistance.
The Mask of Anarchy
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.
And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there;
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew;
What they like, that let them do.
With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay,
Till their rage has died away:
Then they will return with shame,
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek:
Rise, like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you:
Ye are many—they are few!”
Shelley’s poem gave birth to a lineage of nonviolent political activists for social justice:
Mohandas Gandhi modeled his version of passive resistance after the ideas within Shelley’s poem.
Henry David Thoreau wrote Civil Disobedience which was inspired by Shelley’s poetic verse.
Martin Luther King, Jr
Te Whiti o Rongomai
Inking the Ghost in Exile: installed in the New Orleans Healing Center for Fet Gede, the VooDoo celebration for Day of the Dead. It will remain on site for the duration of 2018.
Inking is a piece about liberation and revolution for freedom from limits on thoughts, behavior, and choice. It is a statement about the suppression of women’s voices and on a larger scale the suppression of diversity. It is a call to all those who have a part of themselves that is not seen, not heard, not understood. It asks viewers as participants to recognize the ghost within; the Ghost in Exile – the part that is dying without a print. It invites participants from around the world to name that unmarked grave inside their soul. Name the ghost to be remembered.
Using an Everybody Coffin (designed for emergency disaster sites), I Frescoed the 6 sides (4 sides plus top and bottom). The exterior colors and damaged appearance symbolic of modern suffering. The interior colors and textured surface represent the beyond body connections and memory. The lid hangs on the wall horizontally; the open coffin/casket displayed under the lid standing on end affording the viewer the visual illusion of being inside and retrieving the ghost within. This “T” shaped arrangement is representative of World Order holding up the Multiverse and Consciousness itself. The poem A Woman Is Talking To Death by American Poet Judy Grahn, is artistically rendered onto mulberry paper and folded into a white crane which hangs as a “chandelier” within the coffin. The poem and this piece weaving together the call to make visible the dead parts within the living.
I was onsite from October 25th through November 1st creating 1000 red origami cranes that were strung on 10 strands of thread and installed (progressively as created) at the opening to the coffin, gradually creating a “curtain of cranes”. The folding of 1000 cranes is called Senbazuru. It is a symbol of hope and healing, a prayer of love for those who suffer. Inking the Ghost in Exile is a wish for the suppression of expression to end.
Helen Standing: installed in Egg egg Gallery in Leonidio, Greece, in June 2018. Created with archaeological waste and found objects from Leonidio, Sparta, and Mycenae. The title is a direct reference to Helen of Sparta/Troy.
Helen Standing is a portrait of the immortal moon goddess known historically as Helen Queen of Sparta, a.k.a. Helen of Troy. In this conceptual creation she is in a loom form, weaving the fabric of fate, resulting in existence as a state of Being.
The piece itself is a functioning loom empty of weft strands. Her crown represents consciousness. It is made of discarded furniture legs. The warp strands of the loom are created out of old fishing rope. They are anchored by “metal” rocks with naturally occurring holes found on top of the local mountain located in Pan’s valley. The loom descends from the crown pulling consciousness toward manifestation. The cinder block columns on either side symbolically represent world order, protecting humanity and the gods from the annihilation that would arise should energy and matter collide into one another. The white egg-shaped river stones are the swans eggs out of which Helen and her siblings were born. Another symbol of the many layered dualities that shape human understanding and existence. The dust pans embedded into the columns of world order characterize the scales of justice, and the process of life into death.
Black Snake Silent on exhibition at California Institute of Integral Studies, Dec 1st, 2018.
Black Snake Silent is a concept about decapitating the whispers that slither inside, invisible and unheard by those around us. Death to the poisoning of individual creativity, and independent thinking that infects us with fear to keep us from our unique truth. It is a call for liberation from the venom that snakes its way into our DNA and passes from one generation to the next.
The headdress, made of re-purposed sari silk, was designed and created to represent ancient warriors in ritual ceremony on the eve prior to battle. The placement on a human skull is symbolic of the Flag-Bearer in consecration to an ideal. The 3 black snakes, made of wool fiber, emanate from within an invisible body, the snake-heads placed between the teeth of the skull indicating an end to vulnerability to the venom that stills our voices. The head is placed on a professional microphone stand, the head becoming the microphone itself. This sculpture sits on a fresco painting on wood panel (36×36”), acting as a stage.