What Goes In...
This series has been a long and winding journey. Four years in the making, each piece forms a narrative about how the things and emotions we let into our lives affects our surroundings and souls forever. I explored this theme through spiritual, physical and political elements. It doesn't yet feel done, though, so I imagine there will be more to come....
As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7)
What Goes In...
Acyrlic ink/pen/charcoal on wood assemblage
My Dark Angel by Alexandra Bruse
Behind my words, a puppeteer,
A dark angel that grows with each new tear.
The one that bound up my mouth with delicious lies,
I search frantically feeling for somewhere to hide.
But, still, here I’m rotting from the inside-out,
A cracking wooden puppet bound to self-doubt.
The gluttonous pleasure I found in blaming you
Only ensnared me to be choked out by this curse of lonely solitude.
And here I shiver, wrapped up in my chains,
While hell rages war inside my trapped brain.
Upon my ears it fell to sink
Deep into thoughts I began to think,
To the rhythm cast between the fibers
Of the lie laid quickly that started to rewire
The beating heart pounding on my chest.
The shadow of a dark angel began an evil quest.
It was written into scars
That wrapped around my wrists
And filled in the ridges between fingertips,
That wrapped, bound, and stuck to a trigger,
Wove in and out of every thought before the whisper.
Every shadowy image cast in secret,
A small reminder of this heaving, heavy, horrific
The Good Seed
Acrylic ink/ pen/ woodburn on wood
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred,sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Acrylic/ink on wood assemblage
"If we desert the inner self to focus on the energy outside, it leaves a vacancy inside."
- Trudy Vesotsky
Currents of the Universal Being
Acrylic ink/color pencil on wood assemblage
"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances, — master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Chapter I of Nature
Acrylic/color pencil on wood assemblage
"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."
Acrylic ink/charcoal/color pencil/pen on wood assemblage
Moments of clarity are so rare
I better document this
Across the view is fears
All that matters is
Who is open-chested
And who has coagulated
Who can share and
Who has shot down the chances?
Show me emotional respect, oh respect, oh respect
And I have emotional needs, oh needs, oh ooh
I wish to synchronize our feelings, our feelings, oh ooh
What is it that I have
That makes me feel your pain
Like milking a stone
To get you to say it and
A juxtaposition in fate
Find our mutual coordinates
Who is open?
And who has shut up
And if one feels closed
How does one stay open?
We have emotional needs, oh needs, oh needs, oh ooh
I only wish to synchronize our feelings, our feelings, ooh
I'll show some emotional respect, oh respect, oh ooh
A juxtaposition in fate
Find our mutual coordinates
Self 1: Purge
Acrylic ink/pen on wood assemblage
Hidden, hidden, hiding,
Always under cover
of darkness; not open,
sending out beacons,
messengers, with my soul.
Trying to reflect my thoughts,
upon the world.
Yet when they arrive
they are snuffed out,
never to be seen,
as if they had never existed.
Sealed gates, mouths,
mouth, shut tight.
Eyes squeezed closed
My outer is different from inner,
Words, what are words,
yet to be had,
swirling sounds of
Give me pen,
Then the thoughts run out.
Run like the wind,
float on the breeze,
take off in to
Children of the night
and my heart is lifted,
if only for a moment.
Self 2: Create
Acrylic ink on wood assemblage
Give Me Your Least of These
Acrylic ink/charcoal/pen on wood assemblage
42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
The New Colossus- Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Forward or Back?
Acrylic ink on wood
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” - Winston Churchill
If you want to fly in the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.
My Mineral Lover
Acrylic/pen on wood assemblage
Raw and wretched,
self loathing, doubt.
Strip it down,
This skin is a cloak,
a protection, a layer
of minerals, atoms, stardust.
Once abhorred, now honored.
in and out, to and fro,
through and over me.
How lovely that it is mine,
mine own, my mineral lover.
Acrylic ink/carving on wood assemblage
Acrylic ink/charcoal on plywood
"Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It's a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other."
Wrath vs. Pride:
Now We Got Bodies on the Ground
Acrylic ink/charcoal on rotted cherry wood