Via Gaetano Donizetti 4, 00198 Roma - Italy

Forest Art Park – Artisti in residenza – Elaine Kinnaird

Elaine Kinnaird (Alabama – USA) was in Residence in May 2015.

“Inspiration for the work I created here comes from two main sources: a huge root covered boulder and ancient mosaic tile work. As to the first inspiration source, the huge root-bound stone, I think instantly of the subject matter I wrote my BA thesis on Mesoamerican Sacred Bundles. These objects function like catholic reliquaries, but the idea that wrapping or enclosing objects to enhance or focus the power of those objects is a universal one. It’s done here in Italy (Catholic Reliquaries), by the Aztecs and Maya (Sacred Bundles), Native Americans (Fetish/ Medicine Bundles) and across Africa (African Reliquaries). Most likely there are other cultures that create these, if I only knew. 

So, here in the middle of a forest, in a boulder garden, I found nature doing the exact same thing that people do- bundling an object. Roots of a strangler fig wrap tightly around a huge boulder and in time the fig will encase the rock completely; such strong magic. I knew that I too must bundle these ancient stones, but that is a far loftier goal than what I could accomplish in the allotted timeframe. So I studied the garden, coming at different times of day until I realized that in the late afternoon, around 5 o’clock (17,00) the entire boulder garden is dark except for one bright and glorious spot on one of the large boulders. Here the setting sun on bright days illuminates a section of the rock face and I knew that this was the sacred spot. Here is where I focused my energy. 

Next the question was how? How do I bundle or otherwise enclose this space? I walked up and down the hillside, through the woods and field trying to find- what? Then I found it! Beautiful little grass seed (or seed pods, unsure) that look like oval gems surrounded by little creamy seed pearls. They split cleanly in two flat halves, just perfect to adhere to a surface. Ancient Rome is well known for their love of intricate mosaic patterns, so with this in mind I set to work to cover the sacred spot on the boulder in a safe blanket of mosaic seeds. The organic shape of the mosaic conforms to the shape of the rock, respecting the sunlight’s natural boarder with the moss and conscious effort to not disturb nesting insects who call the boulder home.”

See Elaine video interview HERE