What is Waterspirit Rises? Other than a fabulous dancing 40' puppet created from recycled waterbottles, what else does it need to be? She's the Keeper of the mythological Red Pearl River and engages children of all ages in a lively search for her lost Pearl in a spectacle style street performance.
Conceived by environmental artist Sarah Crooks Flaire, and created in community, this unique performance piece teaches, environmental stewardship through interactive play while learning about the estuary habitat of our lower St. Johns River. Giant oysters, tiny plankton and the monumental Waterspirit puppet, reveal the secrets of the mouth where salty and sweet waters meet and encourage creative habits that promote clean water.
Waterspirit rises in downtown Jacksonville, FL
The merry band of puppeteers took to the streets, emerging from the Main Library in search of the lost Pearl in downtown Jacksonville.
image courtesy of Grant Ward
Beasts of Burdan on display at Main Library , Downtown Jacksonville, FL
Inspired by the tapestry drawing Beasts of Burden from my Red Pearl River series, this giant snake like Spirit of Life, teaches water conservation, interdependence and creative recycling to children of all ages.
megalops larvae of a Blue Crab- recycled plastics - Sarah's example for a student project
Did you know that the estuary provides habitat for dozens of young animals including the blue crab. Oysters are the keystone species and help stabilize the shore, filter the water as well as creating a safe place for critters like these .
In the Mouth, the Oyster and I
Red Pearl River
Redirecting my Energy Daily -RED- is the task before me, to turn my activity and thinking towards positive change. This suite of tapestries and related objects challenge Judeo Christian cultural dominationof the natural world through colonization and exploitation. I seek to create a new narrative based on communiion with nature by reconnecting to the world through the lens of the divine feminine. These tapestries repurpose and repattern long held cultural beliefs. Humble charcoal drawings depict an intuitive new world where culture and nature are harmonized. Like giant cave paintings , archetypal yet personal each 16' tapestry is drawn, over printed, dyed and sewn by hand.
detail from The Gift: In the Mouth of Red Pearl River
Charcoal, acrylic, gesso on pre-printed fabric with silkscreen create a giant Tree of Life based on a matriarchal lineage.
On the Banks of Red Pearl River 2010-2013
Created from re purposed fabric sporting a chinoiserie motif, this 16' x 6.6' tapestry drawing has been created with charcoal and gesso through a process of drawing and resist hand dying. A backing was hand dyed andsewn into place creating a monumental tapestry drawing.
Red Pearl River componants on the clothesline in the studio garden
Each tapestry goes through a hand dying process before the final sewing. A process of letting go.
sewing Beasts of Burden
Each tapestry id hand sewn to a dyed backing, giving it more substance and longevity. I love this process of meditaion and revisiting each area with attention . Like mending, I bind the pieces together as the final act before exhibition.
Beasts of Burden installed at the Main Library , downtown Jacksonville,FL
Asthe Inspiration for the Waterspirit puppet , I installed the tapestry in the main library with text panels hightlighting our shared need for clean water....
Quan Yin and The Crane Cloud detail from RPR Beast of Burden
Inspired by thesuccessful restoration of the Platte River in Minnesota, because of the importance of that landscape inthe migration of the Whooping Cranes. Here is a joyful Quan Yin, goddess of compassion, looking down on that endevor. Limited edition prints are available for sale of this detail from the 2nd tapestry Beasts of Burden of RED Pearl River.
The Giver process detail from the Gift mixed media on cotton/polyester
This little beauty emerged while I was working on the third RPR tapestry drawing The Gift. She's holding a seed.
Gifts of Incorporation
The first relative I met was my daughter. I met my birth mother 3 years later after a lifetime of searching. I have created self portraits my whole life, manufacturing my own tribe out of maps, canvas,paint, hair and bones. I met my birth mother at the age of 38, and then began to learn what genetic memory really is. Gifts of Incorporation utilizes the flexible medium of printmaking to create life size intaglio self portraits. Some are caught in the act of transformation, some are deep listeners, some sound the depths, searching for connection.
4&20 BlackBirds premiered at the Rite of Passage exhibition at the Wilson Center Gallery in 2010. Utilizing my Belly Button Book, shadow pupperty and props I explore the stigma associated with adoption and our current state of overpopulation, and genetic manipulation.
Young Man Looking At Hope is the Light of Kings
Rite of Passage installation at Wilson Center for the Arts. Each body part is from a 22"x22" copperplate. Uniique inking with inclusions.
Installation at Rite of Passage exhibition at the Wilson Center, 2010, adoption game depicted in foreground.
4&20 BlackBirds premiered at the Rite of Passage exhibition at the Wilson Center Gallery in 2010. Utilizing my Belly Button Book, shadow pupperty and props like the chalkboard seen at the back, I explore the stigma associated with adoption, frustration with human overpopulation and the ethics of genetic manipulation.
detail from My Great Great Great
Terry the Oyster
As an environmental artist I have engaged the community in conversation and activism that supports clean water throughout the last 10 years. As artist in residence in 2007 at the Douglas Anderson School Of the Arts, I coached the visual arts department ona yearlong collaboration , The Cummer Museum, The Museum of Science and History, Jaxport, and the St. Johns Riverkeeper. We created a multimedia traveling exhibition that reached over 40,000 people raising awareness about the St. Johns River. Together we explored the flora and fauna, commerce and cultural historyof the region,
My latest clean water project stems from my training to become a Florida Master Naturalist. Now certified in Freshwater, Coastal and Uplands habitat ecology, I createdthe interactive soft sculpture Terry The Oyster, as a teaching tool. Oysters are the keystone species of the estuary and provide habitat, stabilize the shoreline while filtering our water.
Natural Oyster beds are in 80% decline worldwide due to pollution and habitat degredation. We can learn a lot about community and our interdependence when we study oysters .
I am available for school visits, lectures and exhibitions with my anatomically correct friend Terry and her oversized estuary friends.
Hundreds of monarch mimics created from recycled materials like magazines, love letters, and aluminum cans, celebrate transformation. Each butterfly is hand silkscreened and hand cut, then pinned as a private prayer. What started in 2010 as a flock of 1000 at the South Gallery, Wilson Center for the Arts, has traveled in ephemeral flocks across the United States. My most recent installation Flock of Wonder, commissioned by the Baptist Health MD Anderson Cancer Center celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit.
lifesize Butterman at The Cummer Museum of Art
"At some point our ego expands in ripeness... "Lewis Hyde The Gift
Art Ventures celebrates 25 years at the Cummer Museum phot courtesy of Bill Yates 2010
Thank you to the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida for partnering with the NEA to create the Art Ventures fund. I am a proud recipient of two such grants.
detail of site specific installation at the Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts
Transmigration at the Museum of Science and HIstory
Hundreds of Monarch mimics evolve over three months....
detail Turning the Tale
Re-purposed aluminum, acrylicsilkscreened and hand cut-each butterfly is 2"x2"
As the 2016 Artist in Residence at theMuseum of Science and History I fell in love with the Florida Black Bear and it's relevance to the springs of the St. Johns River. Costumes, assemblage and life drawing from the museums taxidermy collection explore the tensions between domestic and wild that face both The Bear and I . On display through February 26,2017with a public reception and artists talk on January 20 from 6-7:30pm.
Bear Room Gallery overview
Situated at the end of the Currents of Timepermanent exhibit at the museum, this installation features a fantastic bearskin rug/costume , Grandmother Star Bear Comes from the Land of Flowers, and other related works. Mixed with artifcts from the archives of the Museum of Science and History, each work reinterprets the Florida Black Bear.
Scared Bear on the Roof of the House That Jack Built
Urban Sprawl is one of the Florida Black Bears biggest enemies.
Graphite on Paper with collage
detail from Grandmother Star Bear Comes from the Land of Flowers
Machine applique' with manufactured decorative fabrics and those hand silkscreened and dyed, this life size bearskin rug depicts the history of land use in Florida and illustrates the Story of Grandmother Star Bear.