Moving In with the New... / by Hayden Michelle

  The other day I received word that the piece I submitted to the Kentucky Art Council's "This is Fifty" Exhibit was accepted into the show.  This exhibit is part of the 50 year celebration for the KY Art Council's amazing support to artists in KY in the past 50 years, as well as looking forward to how the next 50 will evolve.   I am so thrilled to be part of this show, which will showcase the many literal, figurative,and metaphorical interpretations of artists to the theme, "fifty".  Here was my take on the subject, both in and image and word...

"At the Stillpoint"

 "I found this sea urchin on a specimen shelf in a university biology building.  Long since removed from the ocean, its mission now is to serve as an object of study for science students.  I was taken by the beauty found in the reflection in the glass on which it rested, and realized that this was as meaningful as the urchin, itself.  I pondered the calcified remains of this dear creature, and how the opening in this vessel seemed to invite me in, beckoning further exploration.  Likewise, I pondered about our outer bodies, the ways in which we age, and how we often become more introspective as the years of our lives go by… and if we are lucky enough to have made it to the fifty year mark, how we both reflect on what has transpired in our lives, as well as wonder how our lives will evolve in the second half of a century of living.  This simple image holds powerful symbolism, reminding me to grow inwardly as intentionally as I tend to my outward physical body, and to balance energies, within and without, as part of daily mindfulness.  With gratitude for all of the paths that have taken me here, I am reminded to honor both the new unfoldings as well as the losses that have been integral in the making of who I am, and to work hard to share the outgrowth in a way that will be passed on to my children and to those whom I touched in my time on earth.
  The underlying photograph is covered with many layers of beeswax and resin of African trees, and then hand-colored with powdered pigment.  This process of layering wax and color reflects the many layers by which we all are made, and makes me appreciate how the build-up makes a more beautiful surface than the photograph alone, and transmits a fuller depth.  Each layer must be fused with heat to the layer beneath, merging into a whole that can no longer be separated.  Batik dots, which mark where once stood defensive spines, remind that we, like the sea urchin, have elements which reflexively ward off all that we perceive (or misperceive) as threatening.  Without needless defense, the true self emerges."

This exhibit will be showing at Kentucky Crafted: The Market, from March 4-6, held at the Lexington Convention Center.  It is such a creative way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of this wonderful organization, and I look forward to seeing all the many interpretations of this word.  Please stop by if you are in the area and see the exhibit while enjoying the market!   Thank you for letting me share!