My First Week at the de Young by Jennifer Ewing, January Artist-in-Residence
An important part of this Kimball residency is to hold a space that invites people to travel within a safe and welcoming place. Leo designed lettering and painted the walls with directions and associated elements as per the Toltec tradition. This helps set the stage and gives people a familiar and useful reference.
Some people have asked about this and know of other designations. I used what I learned from my Curandera teacher, Tereza Iñiguez-Flores in her healing circles that I attend on a regular basis. We have collaborated together and her teachings helped me find an appropriate intention as I began to conceptualize this show. For more info see her web site http://tierramorena.net/index.html.
Things fell into place naturally when I saw how the Kimball corresponded to what I hoped could happen. Some of the things included in the show tie into the elements directly. I painted a mural of the harbor marina for the Western wall that faces the nearby ocean. Painting a rainy day enhances the feeling of water.
The southern wall is all glass - a transparent window that is perfect to evoke the element of air to suspend the boats in. They can be seen from the outside so people get to see the reverse side of the work.
The eastern wall is dedicated to fire. I included some work that had warmer colors. When I paint boats, they also symbolize an individual who is a source of heat coming from an inner fire. The screens break up this wall into four sections that worked well for my arrangements of long work alternating with smaller pieces. I love the 12' ceiling and that the Kimball could accommodate my longest work.
Coming round to the north wall, which is the shortest, I designed 1/2 of a tall boat made of wood, paper and twine that sits on a mirror to complete itself. The materials that make up the boat are from natural earth materials and the boat can be seen as either emerging or descending into the floor.