The Earth Is Intimate
Artist Statement for The Earth is Intimate/2017
Recurring themes of Alice, Eve, the garden, the snake, an original tongue, the birth of knowledge. The garden is pungent, tactile, connected to the first smell of mother, the first smell of baby, the smell of my mate. We are what we eat. The smell of the garden informs speech, speaks to me of the earth. Visceral light, color, sound, smell; an extension of my home, the garden reminds me that I am of the earth and also that I will return to it, to the dirt. I will decompose and be reconstituted. I will become part of the ground upon which future generations are built.
I am connected to the earth; its smell is savory, sweet. I dig my fingers into the soil. Worms seek cover, mysteriously disappearing into the underworld. And if, like Alice, I were to follow the rabbit, its white bushy tail disappearing down the hole, if I were to follow and fall into the earth what would be revealed to me on the underside? The garden speaks to me of the possibility of another world, a parallel universe where things are not what they seem.
My cabbage reveals labyrinthine corridors of mesh and flesh. I slip through cerebral portals, past dendrites chasing the rabbit deeper and deeper. A cat appears, calm, tail twitching, enigmatic, unhelpful. I am unable to ask for directions. My language has unraveled. Like a child, I must learn the alphabet of this strange place. A chorus of cicadas accompanies the wind. The flowers, big girls all, reach for the sky, their heads nod in the breeze. Colorful parasols, their beauty is fragile, delicate. Their perfume draws me near. They drink light and reflect its vibrant color. Big girls have secrets. They share with me their experience of time. And the roots too tell me things, whisper stories, sing operas and dance. I scale the mulch pile and my foot slips. I fall into a watermelon rind and slide to the bottom. There is no death here in this place-all is reclaimed by the earth, all is recycled. Trust in me says the snake as she slithers by. My visit to the underside forever changes the way I see things.