Seed Painting Celeira, Acrylic, and gold leaf on canvas.22X28 inches, 2020.
One in a series of eight paintings titled “Seed Paintings.” During the spring of 2020, with the social isolation and my daughter starting to crawl and then walk, I was always in nature, and I could see the transformation of the plans in detail. I followed closely and with fascination, the cycles of germinating, seeding, sprouting, growing, flowering, and producing new seeds. I learned that experiencing material life in its living transformation transports us through spiritual life. So I painted the Seed Paintings to discover how life becomes visible in materiality.
In Celeida, I expanded my understanding of what a seed is to think about the impact of an artwork I was studying as part of my art historical research. In the artwork “Passage” (1979), the Brazilian artist Celeida Tostes created a giant vat of clay in which she enclosed herself with the assistance of two of her students. She then proceeded to break the walls of the vat in an action that looked like a rebirth of the artist. To me, Celeida’s Passage is a cultural seed for learning about the connection between ritual and pedagogy.