Almost Ready (2019)
porcelain and found vanity, installation
57 × 45 × 27 in.
This work is part of a photo intaglio print series evokes indigenous ways of knowing through stylized, semi-abstracted figurations depicting a potential narrative sequence. Shadows of mythical stories haunt the landscape. The Earth Mother came down to earth through a hole in the sky, filled it with stones, watered by tears, to create humans, animals, and plants, which humans have the duty to nurture and maintain. She guards the pathway to the underworld and is powerful, mysterious, and dangerous. She requires the offering of something personal from visitors to the place for finding directions, an ancient spiritual ground. The landscape ignites imagination to explain the stars, rock formations shaped by forces of water and spring floods, and growing plants. Mythological stories describe how humans first came to a place. Paleoindians made their home within the trees, in rock shelters, or on bluffs, but even the earliest arrivals were preceded by spirits that formed the rocks and springs, clothed the earth in trees and grasses, and invited the animals to live there. Humans are here, but shadows of the spirits are still here too, always watching. Humans made the place their home, found all they needed, and filled the earth with their origin stories. Their shadows and stories are still here. The mythological world is part of being human, these prints bridge past and present, the mystical and concrete. The trees whisper in the shadows, telling stories of the earliest people to live there.
Carol Hayman, photographer and printmaker, lives in Austin, Texas where she is a retired Professor of Anthropology from Austin Community College. She prints at Slugfest Print Studio, where her photographs become fine art prints or photo etchings, using polymer plates, an intaglio French Tool press, handmade paper, and Charbonnel ink.
© Carol Hayman