I begin by going to a wild place in nature, untamed. I walk around barefoot so I can connect with the earth, harvesting materials which have fallen to the ground or washed ashore. Particularly natural materials with patterns that repeat themselves in nature and within the human body.
My intention is to place a lens on patterns in nature and particular types of plant life that are bio-indicators such as lichen and kelp. Usnea lichen only grows in areas where the air is clean, it is also intensely medicinal- having both antiviral and antibacterial qualities. Kelp is crucial to the kelp forests, such as the redwoods are to the coastal fog forests of the Western US. Kelp forms the backbone of the kelp forests, the rich ecosystems along the Pacific Ocean that support a huge variety of animal and plant life, but which have also been at the verge of collapse.
In this piece I was thinking about the parallels between the way women’s bodies are tormented and ravaged and the earth in turn is ravaged in a similar and reflective manner. These lips which can feel so much sensual pleasure, also endure layers of trauma. I wanted to express the vulnerable exposure a woman feels when politics overtake the ownership of her body. A body of water can be seen as a body of emotion, a body containing subconscious ripples and waves. The trauma of lack of access, lack of ownership becomes deeply embedded in the subconscious emotional undercurrents of a woman’s psyche and then effects the waves that appear above the surface.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My early years were spent in rural Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. While she was pregnant and living in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, as an offering my mother planted 3,000 roses, inspiring the name Amanda Rose. Living in this three dimensional mandala where colorful Tibetan banners blew in the wind and the light glinted off the gold leafed stupa, cultivated a love of beauty and an openness to unseen realms.
In college, at UC Santa Cruz, I studied fine art and formed special kinships with painter Melissa Gwynn and performance artist Elizabeth Stephens. Gwynn taught me the beauty of experimentation and obsession in art. Stephens invited me to exhibit with her and Annie Sprinkle in their Eco-Sexual Symposium, where we committed to being lovers to the earth.
During my senior year and after graduation I fell in love with the work of Helen and Newton Harrison, amazingly they were local professors and artists and needed an artists assistant. The mother and father of the environmental art movement were writing a retrospective of their work which I helped to transcribe. In the fall of 2013 I received the opportunity to travel to Sarnath, India and assist in painting a mural inside the main hall of the Institute under artists Kaveri and TJ Singh as well as assisting with installing three dimensional epoxy resin cast and gold leafed Tibetan script across the outer walls of the Sarnath International Nyingma Institute.
In the past few years I found my tribe in Sonoma County and the North Bay Area while exhibiting at the 2019 and 2022 Bioneers Conference and participated in exhibits at the Healdsburg Center for the Arts, the Petaluma Arts Center and the Santa Rosa Art Center.
© A. Rose, Art of Nature