Messengers, by Amanda Matthews
The Dryad Series, Messengers, is a decades-long, ongoing body of work showing the transformation of wood (and found natural objects) into mythical representations of the undying spirit of love. By combining seemingly disparate objects into a new form, a "third entity" essence emerges. Through various iterations, this work seeks to capture the magic and mystery of our place, as animated spirits, within the natural world while deeply considering the spectra of gender and sexuality through a cultural and anthropological lens.
As a child, I retreated to the hills and forests of rural Kentucky and became part of the quiet surroundings. There, through a kinship, I felt the wisdom, evolution, and movement of the trees; the other spiritual beings existing in harmony, void of judgment. The spirit of the tree has a watchful, abiding presence. Trees are our sacred ancestors. They have lived on earth for 360 million years, while humans have existed here for approximately 200,000 years. Humans represent 48 seconds in the 24-hour day that is the life of trees.
My work represents many iterations of the philosophy that we are born from our innate connection with Nature and each other. We are ancestor and descendant, amoeba and mammoth, hawk and mouse, forest and wind, chaos and pattern, particle and wave. We are all born from the same stars, sculpted from the same source, and contain the same life.