APPROACH and RETURN to Portugal – posted in Boulder, CO August 1st, 2017

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Sherry Wiggins, Above and Below Series, oil paint on board, 2002-2003.

I have been consulting the I Ching or Book of Changes off and on for many years. I have an affinity with this ancient Chinese text. I use it as a resource, an inspiration and even an oracle. Above and Below are a series of small paintings I made a while ago that are based primarily on readings from the I Ching as well as on photographs of my body and of natural phenomenon. This particular image above shows the “river” or “path” that the I Ching displays for me – always moving and transforming. The eight primary hexagrams of the I Ching describe elemental forces in nature and in the world that are also at work in our own psyches (anyway this is how I interpret it). There are the eight primary hexagrams in the I-Ching – The Creative Heaven, The Receptive Earth, The Abysmal Water, The Clinging Fire, The Arousing Thunder, Keeping Still Mountain, The Gentle Penetrating Wind and The Joyous Lake.

The hexagrams are “read” by placing one primary trigram above and one trigram below to make a hexagram – either by throwing coins or yarrow sticks. What is above effects what is below and vice versa – I love this.

I threw the I Ching on my birthday in July and I got hexagram # 19 titled LIN / APPROACH. This hexagram has the element of K’un The Receptive Earth above and the element of Tui The Joyous Lake below. The hexagram of APROACH then changes to the hexagram #24 that is titled FU/RETURN. RETURN shows the element of K’un The Receptive Earth above and the element of Chen The Arousing Thunder below. These hexagrams signal an auspicious APROACH and RETURN for me to one of my favorite places – the Alentejo in Portugal and the Obras Artist Residency. I have a big connection to this place and the people there. My practice is peripatetic – I connect to new ground in foreign lands and I also end up wandering into unique aesthetic, cultural and even spiritual territories.

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Sherry Wiggins, Above and Below Series, oil paint on board, 2002-2003.

The image below is titled Woman on Evoramonte or Mulher em Evoramonte. It was one of the many images that photographer Luís Branco made with me in the fall of 2015 in Portugal in the town of Evoramonte very near the Obras Artist Residency. It displays the elemental connection that I have made with this place and the power of the collaboration with this talented photographer. In the I Ching terminology this image displays my connection to The Creative Heaven above and The Receptive Earth below.

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Sherry Wiggins, Woman on Evoramonte, 2015, black and white photograph, 48 x 32in (photograph by Luís Branco).

I took this last picture at Herdade de Marmelaire at the Obras Artist Residency in 2015. I will RETURN and be in Portugal at the Obras Artist Residency September 19th through October 27th of this year. First I am putting up my exhibit titled Out of India of my drawings and photographs from India. This work (which is also part of my peripatetic practice) Out of India will be at BMoCA at Macky Auditorium in Boulder, Colorado August 17th to November 17th with a reception at Macky Auditorium Tuesday, September 5th from 5:30 to 7pm. I will send out notices and previews soon 🙂

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Sherry Wiggins, Looking towards Evoramonte, black and white photograph, 2015.

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