THE BELOVED LAND
Athens, Georgia is my home - it is where my heart resides. Its roots extend deep enough to meet the Ancestors of this land; the Creek (or Muscogee) Indians are some of these Ancestors. They, like me, planted their hearts here, and it is from these seeds that my work inevitably grows. They called this land, between the forks of the Oconee Rivers, Ikunu- tchaka, the Beloved Land. It was more than a special place to them, it was Sacred, and they gave their lives to protect it and the creatures that reside upon it. Because this land is my "Beloved Land" as well, I am dedicating the next year to working directly from its inspiration. Beginning in October 2016 I will embark on the "Beloved Land Series."
This work, as with all my art, will consist of a variety of mediums and techniques, anchored upon a particular devotion. Each month I will be producing 10 primary images; initially executed as drawings, they will reference denizens of the local landscape, plants, animals, insects, and ecosystems, both native and introduced. These will be things I see, hear, smell and feel with my body, mind, and spirit. I will not use a computer for reference during this time; instead I will focus on what I see, assisted by what I can find in books in my collection and at the libraries found on the Beloved Land.
From these 10 primary images, I will, each month, produce original works, tattoos, screenprints, photographs, and poems inspired by the Land. This will be a wide and expansive body of work, built upon the very prolific manner I have worked in for over 10 years as a professional artist, but novel in its focus on one subject over the period of a year. I use locally sourced materials whenever possible, and finish most of my works with walnut ink I make by hand from walnuts I find in the woods behind my home. This body of work represents a very natural and organic course of my life and work. It feels very much like a tributary that has reached a major confluence.
David Hale September 2015