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Woman of the Wisdom Tree
- one incredible piece of wood for the base, Montana;
- black river rocks, Montana;
- plaster cast of my face (all squished up);
- white sand, painted yellow, Hawaii
This is one of the simplest of all my masks. Simple in design and construction, simple in the very few materials I chose to use to create “Woman of the Wisdom Tree.” The first of four materials is the yellow-sanded plaster cast of my face (white sand from Hawaii painted yellow.) I had to “squish” or elongate the face’s plaster form while it was still damp and moldable so that it would fit into the open space of the wood that creates the headdress for the face. Ah, yes, the second material… this gorgeous piece of wood– – – one of the most striking and unusual pieces I've ever seen. As can be seen in the photo, there is a big “hair wave” protruding from the wood structure. I must credit my Doug for finding this piece up the Gallatin Canyon on a dog walk. The third material consists of a handful of black river rocks to make a “mask” on the mask itself. That's it. Simple materials, a few materials, striking image.
The title of this mask artistry piece, “Women of the Wisdom Tree” stems from a part of a dream-like shamanic journey that came to me several months before my partner even found the wood piece and before I began to play with the creative possibilities that could emerge from the combination of plaster mask and this wood. In the journey, I encountered a feminine healing spirit who was part of a huge Tree of Life. Her face and gown were yellow and black and she wore a headdress of wooden branches. She served as a wise mentor, a guardian/teacher and healer in the Non-Ordinary Reality spirit realm. I saw and worked with her only that one time, though the Tree of Life often appears in my shamanic journeys. The Tree offers much life wisdom and a grounding connection between the infinite “outer” universe and the inner energies of this Planet Mother Earth. My symbol for that energy connection is the Tree of Life, or the Wisdom Tree, with branches reaching up to the cosmic heaven and roots reaching down through volcanic layers of magma and underground lakes to the center of the earth, to Pacha Mama’s cave.
This Mask Artistry piece is, simply, the woman of that same Wisdom Tree.