In May of 2016, a group of artists and I explored Horn Island off of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. We disconnected from society and camped ten days with no electricity or running water. Words can not adequately explain the experience, so we created artworks to express our stories from the island.
The experience repaired my soul and strengthened my humanity. I was able to disconnect from the grid. This focused time with nature reminded me of my cosmic connection to the world. During my exploration of the island, I discovered items in the sand that I wanted to celebrate. The natural order of things had designated these items for disintegration back into the soil. I felt compelled to repurpose them. I set out to memorialize their beauty and display their basic compound features.
I embraced Wabi Sabi artist techniques to celebrate these items and to repair them, much like they repaired me.
I found this bamboo buried in the sand. The natural aging of the wood and the two white barnacles inspired my addition to the item. I used foldforming techniques to create additional barnacles. I enameled them using a gold marking pen.
Intact barnacles were a treasure on the island. I walked the island in search for unique items and found these barnacles. I decided to use principles of design and color to celebrate this pair of barnacles that had managed to stay together in the sand for who knows how long. I foldformed additional pieces to complete a composition that celebrated the imperfections of the natural arrangement.
Wabi Sabi - Shell 3"x2"x2" Shell, Copper, Enamel, Green Patina
This shell was a gift from a fellow artist on the trip. He got word of my intentions and saved this treasure for me. For this piece, I wanted to express the concept of repairing the relationship between humans and the natural habitat. On Horn Island, there was a breadth of plastic items from waste created by humans on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Much like sea glass gets a natural treatment from nature through erosion, plastic gets a unique treatment as well. I wanted to give this shell a human treatment with the barnacles that mimic the weathered blue plastic I also found on the island. It was through this mixture of human and natural elements that I was able to express a potentially healthy human engagement with nature.