Collection: Magnificent Wild

A collaborative exhibit featuring Audrey Gray and Lupita Carrasco

Audrey Gray:
With this body of work, I am remembering how to look at nature and the world around me through the eyes of a child. Making art is about connecting with the world; for me, It's sifting it through my fingers, trying to make something beautiful out of the dirt beneath my feet. Children approach life with a directness and connection that is easy to lose as an adult - it is so easy for them to be in their bodies and experience the tactile pleasure of walking on a beach, or feeling cool stone beneath their fingertips, without complication and doubt. My process is largely about reconnecting with that aspect of human experience - about interacting with textures and colors of different materials and being in my body rather than my mind. This show has brought me back to that larger goal.
All of my pigments are real dirt that I have gathered and processed by hand. Each time I take a road trip, a trowel and bags are packed in the car so I can stop along the way. Using these materials, I create images of the landscapes and moments that I live in and interact with, striving to remember what it's like to see this world with fresh eyes.

Lupita Carrasco:
Magnificent Wild is an invitation to remember and explore the sacred space of childhood. I am flooded with memory and feeling sometimes when I smell something or experience a certain quality of light. I cover my head with a blanket, or watch dust moats, close my eyes against the sunlight and soak in the deep red glow. Maybe I’ll stop in the garden and look closely at the leaves and stems of my plants, or turn over rocks to see who is living under them.

I lick lemons, blow bubbles, eat popsicles, I watch my children’s reactions to old horror films and consider how different their childhood experience is from my own. I hold my head under water and open my eyes trying to remember the darkness and sediment floating around me in the ocean, the way sunlight would sparkle on water and make me dizzy.

In childhood not all things are wonderful. Some memories are full of terror, sorrow, deep

loneliness and uncertainty. Sometimes when words hurt me, I let myself be carried to that place where I had no agency, where all I could do was take criticism and turn it into self loathing, insecurity and shame. As a mother, I am grateful for the clear memory of how difficult some parts of childhood can be. Remembering makes me try harder to be understanding with my own children.

These memories prompted visions of magical thinking, ideas of altars to the inner child. I set out to create ceramic sculptures that could be used to hold candles, incense, water, stones, seeds, feathers, notes to the child self. I began to wonder what it might look like to have a way of sending love to the inner child and open up a new form of communication. For my paintings I observed the way my own children interact with their environment, pretend life, and sibling relationships, I selected images that best evoke the feelings of an untamed childhood. The reality children inhabit is not the realm of adulthood. It is a parallel space where all things are possible. I am reminded of this with every image and altar that are part of this exhibit. I invite you all to feel into this child space and reimagine what could be.