A few weeks ago I mentioned my increasing interest or awareness of ritual in my work. I used ritual in many of the pieces for "I Live Here Now," including "We Walk on the Same Ground." Ritual feels like a natural part of my process and I am excited to see it developing. It helps me move through my work, solve problems and figure out details. It also allows my intuitive/emotional self and my analytical/deliberate self to coexist.
a detail of "We Walk on the Same Ground"
"We Walk on the Same Ground" began with an idea for a ritual. Over time it grew to involve several steps performed by 23 different friends, and myself, in places throughout the United States and later in Sweden. I asked friends to collect dirt from their homes and think about times we spent together as they did it. When they were done, I asked them say either out loud or in their minds, "Help Amy find her home." Once I had received all the samples in the mail, I arranged the packages in front of me and took a pinch of dirt from each person, focusing on each as I worked. When I was done with one person's sample, I kissed the package and moved on. A few weeks later, after I had finished the piece, I took more dirt from each package, again thinking about my friends individually as I worked. I mixed these samples together in a bag and packed it in my suitcase. I took the remaining dirt and poured it onto the ground in the backyard of my childhood home, yet again, concentrating, even meditating, on each person. I also wished them a happy life and thanked them for helping me with this project.
in the backyard of my childhood home
Finally, in Sweden, the day after the opening of the exhibition, I walked to the park near the gallery with my new friend, Karin Roy Andersson. I found a beautiful spot under a big tree and knelt down. I closed my eyes and thought about each friend. I poured the dirt onto the ground and I sat there in silence for a few moments as the faces of each flashed through my mind. I finished the ritual by touching the dirt and pausing.
The whole process felt amazing. It was charged with emotion and memory and simply felt right. It felt like me.
Thanks for reading.