Jane Sherry's Art Tells an Ancient Story, Weaves a Modern Spell of Healing and Delight
The ancient traditions of priestess, shaman, scribe and storyteller serve as the foundation and inspiration for my work.
For thousands of years, healers, keepers of the temple, clairvoyants and mystics have used mythical narratives woven of text and imagery to connect the sacred and the everyday worlds, and to collect and focus energies for healing, for visions, for fertility, and for community.
Using organic materials and colors derived from the vegetable, mineral and animal kingdoms, these custodians of the Divine created art and stories whose beauty triggered mystical states of being in the beholder.
The fetishes and amulets of the shaman brought the medicine of higher worlds to the wounded human spirit. For thousands of years, yogis and householders in India have created altars, sophisticated paintings and sacred texts designed to trigger altered states of being in the viewer by inviting their pantheon of gods and goddesses to take up residence in the home and in the heart of the devotee. The sacred geometry of religious architecture, along with the staff and rod of Egyptian priests connected the people to the powers that reside in the timeless cycles of life, death and rebirth, enabling initiates to transcend these cycles altogether. The altar of the Greek high priestess was the site of prophetic visions, the home of the oracle of Divine wisdom, and the matrix for the invocation of healing energies to benefit the community. The medieval alchemists used the vocabulary of mathematics, chemistry and mysticism in creating rich texts and images to purify their own minds and hearts and transform their base emotions into the pure gold of spiritual awareness and self-realization.
As an artist, I create work that combines images and narrative text--drawings, one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist books and mixed media sculptures. My drawings, books, digital artwork and photographs draw upon traditions of sacred geometry, herbal healing lore, and ancient folk wisdom to convey a sense of mystical unity with nature, and through that unity with nature, an experience of higher worlds, a sense of the Divine that resides within and transcends all that exists in this universe. I utilize mixed media to create altars in the form of sacred boxes, and other objects, such as artistic talismans that combine beauty with the power to heal the spirit.
I choose my palette from flowers and bones and petals and worms, glass, clay, sand and stone, these are some of my things, gathered from my garden, my dinner plate and in my beloved woods and streams and mountains.
I also use the more traditional materials of wood, cardboard, glass, and clay and found objects, images and inspired text from dreams and other altered states of consciousness.
My work is guided and informed equally by place, by intuition, by world events, by socio-political realities, and by the nature of the materials themselves. I believe that the custodians of the sacred have a timeless duty to honor, protect, inform and heal the communities of which they form a vital center point.
The work can function as a bridge for the mind to the realm of myth and hieroglyph, as a ritual in which the viewer consciously or unconsciously regains contact with the higher realms of consciousness embodied by intuition, mystical unity, and divine play. We are the continuous and conscious witness to our own evolution
My goal is to bring the viewer in touch with the living global tradition of the search for self-realization and unity with the Divine that is as old as the insight that we are each a part of the great interconnected web of life.
At the level of current art history, I hope to challenge traditional European commodity-driven traditions which reflect our materialistic, over-competitive, misogynistic thanatos-culture.
I never separate my role as priestess and disciple of the Divine Mother from my role as artist. My work strives to initiate the viewer into a world of sacred sexual politics, where the temple and the body are interchangeable sites of transformation.
I see my work as a catalyst that can help precipitate a new mythology of sexual balance and healing, based upon equality between the sexes, unconditional love, and a shared respect for the web of life upon our dear planet Earth, embodiment of the Divine Mother herself.
All artwork on this page copyright by Jane Sherry 1978-2020