SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION — Sunday, June 24, 2012
Wilderness Mind: Dissolving Duality artists brought their art practices outside the gallery walls at Angels Gate Cultural Center to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
Images courtesy of Angels Gate Cultural Center with photo by Delia deVer Mudge unless otherwise credited.
"of the earth" Performative Installation—MaryLinda Moss
MaryLinda Moss offered a performative installation titled of the earth . . . angel's gate, tree (part of an ongoing series) for the Summer Solstice Celebration. Her intention was to actively present a physical manifestation of our connection to the earth. She climbed a eucalyptus tree on the bluff overlooking San Pedro harbor and installed herself 25 feet off the ground in a crotch of a tree. For over two hours, she slowly applied clay to her skin to mimic the coloring of the bark and attached branches and leaves to her own limbs to further the appearance. By slowing her internal pace to match that of the tree and swaying with it as offshore breezes stirred the upper branches, her presence embodied the connection to the earth that we all have but rarely experience. At the end of the performance, Moss walked the adjoining labyrinth to re-enter present time and space.This performative piece is related in concept and spirit to the emergence performative installation whose documentation was included in the exhibition .
Wilderness Mind Labyrinth Walk—Annemarie Rawlinson
Annemarie Rawlinson invited Summer Solstice Celebration visitors to enter "wilderness mind where time and space collapse" by walking her hand-painted Cretan canvas labyrinth. She intentionally sited the labyrinth so visitors could enjoy the open vista and also easily transition to a relaxed, meditative state of mind while coming or going from MaryLinda Moss' durational performance. A skilled and trained labyrinth facilitator, Rawlinson has found that by walking mindfully while following the meandering circles to the center, individuals can discover peace, a feeling of calmness and often useful insights. Like the labyrinth, which is itself an ancient archetypal pattern, Rawlinson tapped into the universal symbol of the spiral and Hopi brotherhood in "Renewal," her mixed media assemblage installed in the gallery. She has also built multiple labyrinths including the "Hearts Labyrinth" on the beach at nearby Portuguese Bend.
Rainmaker Workshop—France White
France White created a "Rainmaker Workshop" for the public to join in solidarity with the millions of people world wide (as well as throughout time) who hope for, implore the heavens for, and pray for rain in desperate situations. Participants began by connecting energetically with places in immediate danger of drought or fire and to the people, animals, critters and plants who live there. Working in pairs or family groups, they strung beads to represent falling rain—similar to the RAIN in White's Thunderbird Prayer for Rain assemblage inside the gallery. They asked that each bead be a prayer to bring rain to places in need and bring it in ways that would be helpful and not cause harm. When completed, the strands of black, deep violet, blue and clear beads were hung from a hoop in a tree where sunlight catching the crystals made symbolic streams of "rainfall." The local newspaper reported the next day that plentiful rainfall had helped bring Colorado's worst wild fire under control.
Spirit Shield Workshop / Communal Mandala—Sandra Mueller
Sandra Mueller offered a "Spirit Shield Paint Out" under the trees adjacent to the Rainmaker Workshop." To quieten their minds, participants were invited to mindfully walk around a mandala circle made of palm fronds and then to select one whose unique shape or color spoke to them. The fronds—many of which are naturally heart-shaped—became a natural canvas for expression of their spirit using brightly colored paints. Painting the fronds was both an act of adornment and reclamation since they were returned to a natural environment to complete their life cycle, rather than ending up in city dumps as they often do after a windy rainstorm in Los Angeles. Like her poetic eco-prints inside the gallery, Mueller helped make visible what was beneath the surface. After painting, participants returned their unique, spirited creations to the mandala to form a communal installation that remains as an ongoing visual reminder of our connection with nature.
Walking Meditation Project—Deborah Thomas
Deborah Thomas created a guided "Walking Meditation" path that started just outside the gallery and ended on the ocean bluffs. Her Summer Solstice Celebration project began outdoors at a special banner situated along the left side of the drive where participants were met by guide Ann Isolde. They were asked to count their footsteps until they reached a wood shingle placed on the road and then to start counting again as they continued to the next shingle. By simply putting one foot in front of the other and counting from one, participants followed the path marked by the shingles as it headed toward the bluff overlooking the ocean. This simple yet expansive practice allowed them to not only notice the natural environment in detail, but also to experience the opening of the visual space as they reached the top of the hill. The project referenced Thomas' gallery installation of the same name that was created for another environmental activist day along the banks of the Los Angeles River near downtown Los Angeles.