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Artist's Statement for the recent show:  Five Sacred Things...
...From This End of the World
new mixed media collage by Roxanne Amico

A Statement, Part I:

What is sacred? Where is it housed? What is our relationship to it? Is it within self? In the world? Between self and others? What value does the sacred bring to our lives? Why do we believe in sacredness? How do we recognize the sacred? What is sacred is beyond utility, like our lives, making the world a better place for all, for all times and seasons, in all directions. It is housed first as it is breathed in community, second as it is shared in food and in the fires of interdependence, third in the church of sky, fourth with feet-on-the-earth. Each of these four points of entry into the sacred are fluid not static, are open to questioning, not dependent on obedience. It is imagined as wholeness in the experience of fragmentation. The sacred, then, is most fully realized in the fifth place as the integrity of these central life forces, or: love, which is always transformative.

About the pieces in this show; about collage:

The six new mixed media collages in this show explore relationship to the sacred. They are a visual vocabulary for the creative tension between perceived boundaries of self and other, past and present, wholeness and fragmentation, creation and destruction. As a single perception of layers of reality stifles, the single medium of painting is stagnant. Mixed media broadens the landscape of visual language. Old postcards found in the trash or received in the mail are transformed in an intuitive process of tearing apart and putting together, combined with other techniques, redefining found imagery and context and re-imagining realities. Transparencies develop images in layers of meaning. Human forms (including self-portraits and placing my body within the frame) interconnected with other forms can locate a relationship between the human form/life and other forms of life, as well as raise questions about the nature of relationship to other living things. It is also intended as an entry point for others.

Each of the six pieces is integral to this series, yet each stands alone. Each imagines different possibilities of sacredness.


Frank Lloyd Wright said, "The principles that build the tree will build the man." Wright's Graycliff Estate was designed on the framework of the "cardinal points of the compass" and intended for all the elements (wind, fire, water, and earth) to be housed within that space. Many spiritual traditions honor the sacred in daily life by expressing gratitude to these four elements as they correspond to the four directions and to the cycles and seasons of life. Wright gave full expression to the spirit of these beliefs, whether or not he shared them. Inspired by this, the pieces in this show use photos of the windows from my house ("from this end of the world"), facing outward in different directions, including east, south, west, and north. Another collage explores the center of these forces, while another imagines the full cycle. (This one is the invitation, titled Circle Casting.)

In 1993, Starhawk wrote the novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing.  From the preface:

    Declaration of the Four Sacred Things

    . . . . The earth is a living, conscious being. In company with cultures of many different times and places, we name these things as sacred: air, fire, water, and earth. Whether we see them as the breath, energy, blood, and body of the Mother, or as the blessed gifts of a Creator, or as symbols of the interconnected systems that sustain life, we know that nothing can live without them. To call these things sacred is to say that they have a value beyond their usefulness for human ends, that they themselves become the standards by which our acts, our economics, our laws, and our purposes must be judged. No one has the right to appropriate them or profit from them at the expense of others. Any government that fails to protect them forfeits its legitimacy. . . .  All people, all living things, are part of the earth life, and so are sacred. No one of us stands higher or lower than any other. Only justice can assure balance: only ecological balance can sustain freedom. Only in freedom can that fifth sacred thing we call spirit flourish in its full diversity. To honor the sacred is to create conditions in which nourishment, sustenance, habitat, knowledge, freedom, and beauty can thrive. To honor the sacred is to make love possible. To this we dedicate our curiosity, our will, our courage, our silences, and our voices. To this we dedicate our lives.

Some questions:

What is sacred in this world? Is the sacred possible? Can the conditions for the sacred be created? nurtured? healed? Is it possible to share inquiry into the sacred as a collective creative process?

A Statement, Part II:

Empathy and the need to communicate the witness of direct experience and that of others are the driving forces.  Words and images translate these fragments of experience into something other than what existed prior. There are times when two things are felt at once: "I must say something, and I cannot say a thing." SAYing means, in this context, MAKing: an-other image, an-other perspective, an-other world [to] view.

Franz Kafka's sensibilities are generally a bit too gloomy, but I keep the following quote in mind: "The tremendous world I have in my head. . . . But how free it and free myself without being torn to pieces? And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That indeed is why I am here. That is clear to me" (from Kafka's diaries, June, 1913).

Artist Statement
myths, lies, photos & action: a spiritmorph statement
Artist Statement- Recent Show
heron song: thoughts on time
Acknowledgement and Thanks
Credits and Inspirations

Image below: Circle Casting '04

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