An Exhibit about the Interconnectedness of All Life
May 26 through July 1, 2017
An exhibit featuring eight regional artists working in ceramics, wood sculpture, oil and acrylic painting and lino-cut prints. If you missed the opening reception, please come on down and enjoy a cup of fresh coffee, some cookies, and of course, this exhibit through July 1st during Gallery hours. We are located at 434 North Last Chance Gulch in Helena Montana. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 to 6pm. We are a very welcoming, friendly place to find gorgeous fine art in a wide range of prices. Hope to see you soon.
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circles in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon, within
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done
~ Joy Harjo (from “How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems,” 1975)
Artists featured in this exhibit: Poo Putsch, Elizabeth Hughes Bass, Betsey Hurd, Trudy Skari, Nancy Goughnour, Patty Ceglio, Peter Shaughnessy, Carol Montgomery
All My Relations is inspired by a phrase from the Lakota language. It reflects the worldview of interconnectedness by the Lakota people and many other indigenous peoples on Earth. This concept and phrase is spoken during Lakota prayer and ceremony to invite and acknowledge all relatives into the moment. It is a simple yet profound prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks, rivers, mountains and valleys.
To most of us today, relative means a blood relation or another human in our family lineage. We have not been taught that an entity other than human, could be a relative. Understanding this sacred statement and contemplating it, can change your outlook on life forever. If you love and honor your relatives — if you lived by this meaning of “relative,” you would be loving and honoring most of what is on this earth. What a different world we would be living in!
The interconnected relationships of all living things are called the Sacred Circle of Life. First Nations teachings guide us to show respect for all within this sacred circle. An intense and deep connectedness with all that surrounds us is a foundational concept of First Nations philosophy. This includes a connection to Mother Earth and all the Universe contains, including other people (personal relationships, family, neighborhoods, communities, nations), all of the plant beings and four legged brothers and sisters, the finned, crawling and flying beings, and ultimately the Great Spirit that animates all.
We invited 8 artists whom we feel express through their art the Sacred Circle of Life — the connections between all of us, not just relationships of human to human, or human to animal. All My Relations is about the deep connection amongst all of Life, all of Creation, even inanimate parts of our planet Earth. Our artists often depict and honor animals such as the fox, magpie, deer, raven and horse. Some see the intertwined relationships between human and animal or human and trees in a spiritual light. Some express the intimacy and vulnerability between parent and child; between lovers; between mortal and God. Some of our artists have chosen works that express their delight in the way animals bond with other animals. We humans do not have a monopoly on love.
- Elizabeth Hughes Bass, of Butte Montana, uses oil paint with rapid expressive brushstrokes and palette knives, to describe human relationships and those of animals with each other. Her scenes of friends and lovers in small cafés, markets, and windows capture a bond as old as humanity. Her painting of a sow and her piglets running towards us makes us smile and think of the connection between mothers and children.
- For this show, ceramic artist,Patty Ceglio, incorporates profound or wistful quotations into her intricate designs on functional pottery. She says a pitcher requires consideration of the vessel to the handle and spout and expresses, for her, the way relationships take much care and attention.
- Nancy Goughnour’s iconic St. Francis sculptures express the tender way the saint relates to animals birds, while her nudes are all about the deep bond between mother and child or between sisters and friends. In another exquisite piece by Nancy, a young Godiva rides a porcelain llama in a serene scene.
- Betsey Hurd’s obvious bond with her horses comes across in her large canvases and in her figurative ceramic sculptures she describes as “polymorphic fabulism.” Mystical human/animal figures combine deer, horse, human, badger, cow and other animals allowing us, as viewers, to experience “the integration of species – no separation. We are all one.”
- Carol Montgomery is a true lover of flowers and birds: parrots, magpies, hummingbirds, garden bouquets, lilies and hollyhocks. Her bright and playful, multi-plate linoleum block prints brilliantly describe her bond with the plants and birds that live in her world.
- Poo Putsch was inspired by the years she spent from age 15, in New Mexico, particularly on the Navajo reservation in Ship Rock. Her paintings of brilliant turquoise, azure, rich ochre and sienna depict the southwest canyons’ pictographs and petroglyphs through an artist’s eyes. When we look at Poo’s images we may wonder if our own ancestors are recorded on rocks somewhere?
- British Columbia sculptorPeter Shaughnessy, created a new wood piece for this show. “Betweeness,” expresses the physical and metaphorical links between each of us and Family, between Nature and Universe. Our connections teach and nurture, bind and ultimately define us. Each figure’s body is almost always a box: the boxes signify our personal relationship with the spiritual content of Earth.
- Local artist,Trudy Skari, offers ceramic sculptures tiny to large, about tension, love, humor, what we know and mostly what we can not know unless we see with new eyes. With her expressive dogs, rabbits, crows and other philosophical animal pieces, she says, “Laugh with new tears and embrace with new arms.”