Conquering the Fear of First

Project 5: Art in Odd Places - Scale and Juxtaposition of Placement

I used to have this weird fear of birds, mostly pigeons actually, but it stemmed from being chased as a child by chickens my great-grandmother had in her backyard. Let's just say I was a pretty mischievous 3 years old but that's a story for another day. I say I "used to" have this fear because I Am actively working to conquer it so I Am first counting the fear erased so the calm can follow.

For this project in scale and juxtapositioning in real spaces with Dianne Hebbert, installation artist, painter, printmaker and curator, I was able to experiment with placement and 2D work. I chose the New Jersey state bird, the American Goldfinch, for this art exploration. 

The bird is hand-drawn in pencil and colored with acrylic paint markers. This is how I played with the juxtaposition of my artwork and existing objects within the floral arrangements and potted plants in my home space.

As a Yale School of Business certified DEI consultant and enthusiast, I was also inspired by Dianne's work with focus on diversity. Continuing my center of attention on nature, my artistic eye turned outdoors. The view from my window is a landscape of trees and there, in the distance I could see the bushy top of one tree that is the first to begin changing from a lush green to its beautiful fall colors...on the 1st day of August. In that tree, I imagined a face and the idea of being "first" motivated me to further create, place, position and write...

Journal Entry:

Why don't you wanna be first? He said. And it made me think, deep. Being first comes with its own set of responsibilities, accolades and secures your spot in history creating a legacy...depending upon who is telling the story, still. Still being first is an act in fearlessness that even when I Am confident, at times I am also simultaneously dismayed. 

From the earth we came and to the dirt our bodies return but the spirit of our lives resides forever in the light. The light that came first.

In the Native American culture, the cow skull signifies a grounding kind of sustenance but also abundance and prestige as it plays an important role in the course of life of the living. In Egyptian mythos, the cow is seen as the mother of the sun. The light that came first + The Native American and the Egyptian came first, depending upon who is telling the story. The skull is not always a sign of death but also one of rebirth.

I am grateful to have a few "firsts" under my belt and a litany of other placements in line. When I am honest, I know that I too am a part of the One. It is the acceptance of the desire to BE, upon a closer, deeper look that intrigues me. "The last shall be first and the first last."


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