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  • Writer's pictureKelly Curran


This Installation was shown at the Art Association of Harrisburg in December 2018 and serves as a constant source of inspiration for my current art. 

About After finding a turquoise beaded sash that came to me in a series of three dreams, I realized this was to serve as the inspiration for this installation. Its saturated with color, light, glass, symbols and the feeling of home. As each person walks around the room I hope they will discover what I have through working on this show; ​

The Path is unique to us all,

                            but its all the same path.

"Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work?

The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes." -Jack Gilbert 

These are some of my treasures... 

The Dreams: 

Beginning in January of 2018 I had three dreams showing me a native american turquoise beaded sash. The first dream I could see it, but it seemed far away like it was in a cloud. The second dream the sash became clearer and I could see it had symbols on it. The feeling was that this sash was coming to me and wasn't so far away. The third dream I could see the entire sash, the symbols on it and where it was. In my dream the sash was in a big glass encasement at an antique shop and there was a discount on this particular stand. After this dream I knew I would find this sash. I remember driving home from my millworks studio and knew I had to go to Lemoyne Market, a local antique shop. As I walked in I got the chills and KNEW with out a doubt that the sash was in there. I somehow knew exactly where to go and was greeted by two signs, the number 414 and a large glass encasement housing jewelry, just like my dream. I searched the jewelry and at the very bottom right corner was the exact sash from my dreams! The moment I held it in my hands a bolt of energy went up my arm and I knew I had found it! When I went to pay the woman told me she was going to give me 10% off! That was my third sign. I proudly took it home and contemplated the meaning behind all of this. WHY did I need to find this sash, why now. Luckily I have a dear friend who is a medium who helped me to decode this magical sash....

About the Sash:

There are 35 symbols on this sash, each tell a story of their own but together they tell one whole story. It's a very old piece and was made for a bridal commitment ceremony. An elder would spend time creating a beaded sash, infusing every symbol with love and intention and would usually sing over it. The sash as a whole symbolized the spiritual path.  It would then be given to the bride to wear and was a very important gift as it guides the new couple on their journey towards a 'good life.' There are so many symbolic meanings here; UNION, oneness, co-creation, the spiritual path and the journey home. The Path is the great I AM of life. I felt so strongly that this sash was made for me by someone many lifetimes ago and that this sash not only told my story but the story of the spiritual path as a whole that every person could relate to. I also learned that this sash was the key to open the door for a new series of art for me. These symbols were inspiring a whole new piece of art, this installation! This is why the sash found me when it did, to serve as a major tool for a new series of art. 

The Symbols:

I began doing research on Native American symbols, beliefs, myths and art. The symbols are seen as a testament that the larger essence of life imbues all things. The symbols act as a language that bring concepts to mind that surpass words. Native Americans believed that all things are saturated with sacred energy, and that the object on which the symbol is depicted is spiritually charged. The symbols carried secret messages, some precise and others vague to convey knowledge layered with meaning and artistic expression. The native american symbol systems had a central theme, cosmical union of man and earth. And the goal of the Native American was to live in harmony with the universe. There is a belief in the livingness of the earth  and the two-way flow between earth and man. Nature works toward harmony and when man works with nature instead of against, then he creates a joyful union withe the Source of Things.  Sacred geometric patterns such as the hexagon (honey bee pattern) are used to contemplate the Great Mystery. The symbols on this sash represent animal guides, plant medicine, the cosmos, ancestors, fertility, a good marriage, expectation of children, weather such as wind and rain and how they all carried messages. For example the Morning Star symbol represents hope and guidance, but it's also related to past spirits and ancestors. In many cultures ancestors were represented as stars. So the Morning Star symbol can be seen as our ancestors guiding us like the bright light of a star, carrying messages of hope. The Bear is a powerful symbol and is seen as the keeper of the dreamtime, and stores the teachings of dreams until the dreamer wakes up to them. The symbols act as a universal guide to lead a good life.

The Installation:

I view the installation as the spiritual path, the great mystery, where one emerges into the light and takes a journey of their own. As people enter the room and walk around the perimeter they will see glass symbols, paintings, wood elements, larger glass pieces are all interspersed and infused with light and color. The symbols act as guides along the path and express the great mystery. Power animals or Plant spirit helpers empower a person with the traits of that plant or animal. Spirit guides protect and provide insights to problems one may be experiencing. Eventually you will reach the point where you entered the room and are back where you started. The great circle. There is a larger wood symbol in the center of the room with a circular mirror in the center. The symbol represents the Eye of God. I hope people will look into the Eye and say, 'I see you!' Because what they will see is their own reflection staring back. The purpose of taking a journey is to attain guidance and knowledge from the spirit world and bring it back to earth. 

What I Realized:

This show helped me to organize my own spiritual experiences and look back on the whole of my life thus far and see that i've always been connected to some magical thread of light thats been guiding me. It's never once led me astray and i've received so many signs on my own path. I quickly REALIZED that I was walking my own spiritual path all the while working on this art show about the path. Making these symbols helped me to see how art can act as a portal to transport us to the deeper realms within so we can see more clearly what it is we need to see. In a way it was a remembering and a bringing forth what I remembered.

My hope through this installation is that I am able to convey the essence of this sash through light, color and feeling. I feel like I will be learning from it for years to come.

And so it is. The Great I AM. 

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