I was one of five artists chosen to participate in a 6 month residency at the city dump. My vision was to create garments that invoked the idea of what a spiritual warrior was. I really had no idea what I was going to make because I did not know what I would find during my visits to the transfer station. It was truly a magical project and I was blessed to take the adventure. I only had to think about what I wanted and usually find it buried in the mounds of garbage that was dropped off daily. I really felt the spirit of the trash gods were guiding me to the other side and opened my eyes more to the path that I have chosen to devote and celebrate. The garments I sought out to create became alive and a story began to unfold. And so the story goes:
The fools journey into the realm of truth brings us together. Wearing a shawl adorned with amulets and ribbons shows ego strength of the warrior who comes forward out of the shadows. The spirit guides present themselves and become one with the warrior. These guides represent aspects of self and metaphors for truth. First comes the shaman or turtle, then the rabbit, the white owl goddess, the tiger spirit, and then the life/ death/ life mother or spider spirit. Each guide gives a gift to protect and sharpen the Warriors instincts, but the spider spirit, who is the giver of life and death which in turn creates or stirs the warrior to life. The gifts from the other guides are simply water, earth, air, and fire. The warrior accepts all the gifts for they contain the truth and within truth balance is found. Now the warrior is ready to discover what lies ahead on the path of the unknown. This is the story I have to share from one warrior to another. It was all made possible by the living entity that is the city dump ( transfer station). This is a place in which we collectively with intention throw away, get rid of, and forget about our waste and consumption. The garments and artifacts before you were transformed into sacred objects to appease the great garbage spirit. The Spirit Guides and the metaphors they represent: Turtle or Shaman- Is between both worlds of land and sea this make the turtle a good translator. Moving towards the way of peace in a slow pace but with persistence. She has emotional strength and is grounded. Hare (rabbit)- Represents abundance, renewal, hope, intuition, and new opportunities. Blessings are in the mist and the needed direction and breakthrough is so close the rabbit will nudge or jump into action to make a move. Owl- Old soul, the gatekeeper, has the ability to peer through the agenda of others. ,will observe and keep secrets and wisdom guarded until it is the right moment and then she will move swiftly into action. Very psychic. Tiger- Sensuality, beauty, and passion are strong characteristics but so is patience, mystery and grace. She has new moon energy which is the dark moon as a seed getting ready to grow full and magnetic. The tiger speaks to the heart to have courage to go after what you desire. Spider- She tells us that not all things are as they appear. However we have life choices to construct the life we live. She is receptivity and creativity and has the ability to fashion a new vision after every initiation which makes her infinite. The web represents strength, beauty, home, and within there is sustenance , birth, and destruction. The Warrior / Fool - This is anyone and everyone. Some are ready for the journey with eyes open and heart unobstructed and some start carrying much too much baggage. This will eventually have to be shed in order for the spirit guides within us to fully impact our psyche. This is how we train to be a warrior.
The All Seeing Eye- silk, rust, shibori, natural dyes, 25x47"
Enlightenment - silk, rust, shibori, natural dyes, patina, 29x26"
Cage- silk, rust, 47x22"
Vision- silk, rust, patina, shibori, natural dyes, 13x13"
Filter- silk, rust, shibori, natural dyes, 13x13"
Burner I- silk, rust, natural dyes, 13x13"
Burner II- silk, rust, natural dyes, 13x13"
Warrior, Ego Shawl- plastic curtain, first place ribbons, medals, jewelry charms
Ego Shawl- gallery view, 52x11"
Warrior Rope Poncho- various synthetic ropes, leather, potpourri heart, 21x27"
Shaman Kimono- various umbrella fabrics, wallpaper, drapery
Obi- vinyl bag, wicker rope, tapestry border, chain, spoons, marble stamp, cloisonné, pocket knife, vintage pocket watch, 29x29"
Tortoise Shield- , metal brazier screen, wallpaper, vinyl, various chains, vintage cuff links, various metal findings, bottle opener, horn, cotton doily, button, electric shaver head, spring, 20x45”
Rabbit Dress- roll of aluminum zipper, vintage lace collar, vinyl boots, chain, earring. Puff Pants- sheer drapery, fur (rabbit) from leather moccasin boots, trim of pinch pleating from sheer drapery, Size Small / Medium. Staff-bamboo stick, plastic disc, metal sanding drum, string, pocket watch, springs, agate, 6x57”
Rabbit Dress- Detail
White Owl Goddess - Corset- vinyl boat upholstery, canvas bag, table trim lace, 26" waist finished. Skirt- bottom half of vintage wedding dress,
Wings- drapery, lead foil used in dental film, metro bus passes, tent sticks, rattan drapery, leather belt, chain, table trim lace, crystal from chandler, jade beads, pearl beads, 92x25”
White Owl Goddess - Wing detail
Tiger Collar- paper beads made with national geographic maps and Japanese scenic cards, synthetic rope, floral wire, duffle bag strap, jute rope, 24" Diameter
Tiger Collar- detail
Tiger Onesie- woven plastic, fake fur, cotton fabric, vintage buttons, fireplace chain, various necklace chains, wire, Size medium
Spider Gown- polar fleece blanket, cotton lace table cloth, synthetic lace table cloth, kite string, selvage, crystal from chandler, baby spiders from child’s costume, jute necklace, size Medium
Antenna Veil- tulle from child’s costume, woven wire basket, selvage, bamboo handle, kite string, wooden spool, 18x24”
Throne- steel pencil rod, rebar, sinker lid, ivory etched buckle, bbq plates, mesh fireplace screens, parts from iron stove, panel from organ, trash can, gutter screen, embossed sheet metal, cage, selvage, brass drum cymbal, wire, silver dish, drain cover, broken candle holder, aluminum wheel, tiny tea cup, brass swan dish, brass tripod, terra cotta planter, philodendron found in suitcase ( brought back to life), brass hook, metal fish skeleton, 45x72”
Warrior walking- gallery view
Please go to video page to see a short recap of the performance.
© Rio Wrenn