Photo by Simon Beckmann

“I went to Joya: AiR seeking patterns of place and how place marks us. Specifically how we hold these markings in the body memory: the smell of home, the topography of the sight line, the way the foot holds the ground.

Inspired by environmental artist, Michele Stuart, I came with paper mounted on muslin to do rubbings in graphite and crayon to collect patterns literally from place: bark, cracks in mud, olive tree leaves.

While looking for patterns in nature, Joya: AiR inspired me to consider human patterns as well. How can our daily habits (our patterns) help ecosystems, create better water systems, restore soil, use energy when it is abundant and not when it is scarce? Fitting into to these natural systems and supporting them seemed to create a whole new form of beauty. Could it be that when we are most naturally aligned with the cycles of life patterns of the earth is when we, too, are most beautiful?

I come away still wondering how we can remember that we are not separate from the earth, but part of it. And that that relationship, this vital relationship, should be of primary concern, not a thoughtless consequence of living.

I’ll bring back these patterns and combine them with a figurative sculpture through 3D printing. I’m interested in this ‘Embodied Place’. Can the body and body memories of place (of home) – info in the body – these patterns, images and symbols from nature that become an intricate part of us – part of our body memory be a valuable metaphor for deepening our relationship w/nature and ourselves”?

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.

The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people.

Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.
Langston Hughes

Kimberly Callas is a sculptor and Social Practice artist working in both Maine and New Jersey, USA. She uses both handmade and emerging technologies to combine the human body with patterns and symbols from nature focusing on the idea of an ecological self. Art New England called work from her series Portrait of the Ecological Self, “Unforgettable.” Her work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums, including Flowers Gallery in New York City and the CICA Museum in Korea . She has received national and international grants and awards, recently a Pollination Project Grant. Callas received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art and her BFA from Stamps School of Art at the University of Michigan. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Monmouth University.