I’m pleased to announce that my piece ‘Chickasaw Panther Woman’ is showing in the exhibit ‘Our Nature’, the 2017 WCAGA Member Exhibit! I can’t wait to see her among the other fantastic chosen works. If you haven’t seen her in person, this is a great opportunity. Encaustic pieces are always so much more impactful in person—I believe even more so than many other mediums.
Exhibition Dates: March 23 to May 5, 2017
4th Floor Gallery, Jim Cherry Media Center
GA Perimeter College, Clarkston
555 N Indian Creek Drive
Clarkston, GA 30021
About ‘Our Nature’:
Please join us for the 2017 WCAGA Member Exhibit, Our Nature. Nature and the environment is ”Ours” to enjoy, care about and celebrate. Some of us make work inspired by our surroundings, through images that remind us our world is to be treasured and sustained. Plants, birds, animals, insects and flowers reach into our psyche. We may be awed, inspired, calmed, excited and even protective of this world that sustains our life, and some artists create work that speaks to this inspiration. Other artists address the backstory to our urban environment. They bravely ask, ”What happens when we neglect, reject or ignore nature’s importance?” This exhibit reflects our own vision . . . our own Nature.
More about the Women’s Caucus for the Arts, GA here.
I’m excited to announce that my Adornment series is hanging for the month of February at the Candler Park San Francisco Coffee on Dekalb Ave.! It’s a very cozy spot with great staff and delicious things to drink and eat — and I sure love seeing these pieces on exposed brick in such a warm atmosphere. If you’re in the A in Feb, give it a visit!
About these pieces:
Working with the common threads of mark making, ritual, sacred and decorative modifications to appearance throughout civilization, Adornment is an exploration of how this drive to decorate defines us, and how that urge carries back throughout not only history, but peoples of cultures worldwide.
When investigated globally and historically, the similarities of the practice of adorning ourselves—especially women—reveal themselves, and we see how traditions of mark making and adorning in indigenous peoples in particular have shaped the aesthetic of our modern ideas of fashion and our own personal and cultural style choices.
In these character pieces, I’ve particularly focused upon the adornment practices of powerful women figures from dwindling (or gone) tribes and eras. Their decoration is presented in a modern and stylized manner, but the real detail and power lies not in their markings or items of adornment—but in their faces.
Each piece was researched and much information gathered about customs, marks, clothing, style, culture and history. Characters and markings are first drawn, then I layer with encaustic medium (beeswax & tree sap resin), pigment, and items, carving, mark making and burning—much as the body adornments are achieved—for a final presentation that is deep and rich—as is their history. I very much enjoy the ritual process of getting to know these creations, and consider it an honor to represent a piece of character and history, and tell a story of their beauty and power.
The central character, Dropka is from the Dropka people: a very small, isolated tribe located between India and Pakistan. Their lush and expressive decorative practices come from a long, rich history, kept strong within their very isolated community.
The Ouled Naïl are a tribe and a tribal confederation living in Algeria. The women of the Ouled Naïl historically were exoticized by western men, fascinated by their dance, music, and decoration.
The Chickasaw Panther Women participated in battle as communicators and strategists. This responsibility is represented in Chickasaw oral traditions as “Panther Woman.”
Artist Profile – Michele Phillips
Michele Phillips is an artist and illustrator living in Decatur, GA. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Florida State University. Michele has worked as an illustrator, tattoo artist, graphic designer, art director, and dancer. Her history in the tattoo arts always informs her work, as do elements of figures, patterns, ancient mythology and spirituality, animals, and the natural world.
EXCITING kidlit news: My Forgotten Self (author Lynyetta Willis, illustrator: me!) has received first place for the 2016 Purple Dragonfly Award! ~ Awarded to picture books, for children 6 and older that “inspire, inform, teach or entertain children. Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.”
I’ve moved my art blog activities to my ‘works’ blog, so head on over and check it out/give it a follow: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/michelephillips