During my time at ArtAmari Residency in Crete I built a Minoan labyrinth made of stones. This video is an interview I had with Cretan TV about my residency in Crete and the theme of the labyrinth in my work.
Last Saturday I arrived to the Amari Valley, a fertile valley with small ancient villages in Central Crete. I will spend almost a month as a guest artist at ArtAmari Residency in the tiny village of Kalogeros.
After over two years working with The Nomadic Labyrinth, I feel the need to complete a circle around this project and explore the possibilities of using the labyrinth as a container for the creation of ritual. I can't think of a better place than Crete - the island of the origins of the Classical seven circuit labyrinth - to do an artist residency and dive into the rituals that are still part of this ancient culture.
On my first day in the valley I met Lambros, a resident of the near by village of Thronos, where he owns a Taverna, in Greek a small restaurant that serves local food. Lambros is an enthusiastic man who knows the land, its herbs and flowers. He also makes his own wine and raki - a very strong liquor made of the distillation of grape skin.
I am using the old Byzantine chapel of Agia Paraskevi as a temporary studio. After talking with a member of the local Orthodox church, Angeliki - ArtAmari Residency Director - and I started building a Classical Cretan seven circuit labyrinth next to the chapel. I will use this labyrinth as a container for a series of rituals inspired by the seven phases of Alchemy as described in the Emerald Table. Each of these rituals will include elements of the local landscape and the Amari Valley culture.
Today I started making a tincture with three local herbs suggested by Lambros: Dittany of Crete, Sage and Marjoram. He also gave me a bottle of his homemade raki to extract the medicine from the herbs. Dittany of Crete grows up in the near by mountains . It is said it has magical properties and that Greek Goddess Aphrodite healed the wounds of Aeneas with an extract of this plant. Cretan people enjoy Dictamo- as they call it here - as an herbal tea since the Minoan times.
Learn more about ArtAmari Residency here
In the last couple of weeks I've been working on a site-specific charcoal drawing in the staircase of a loft in San Francisco's Mission District. The space, a remodeled auto body shop is now a dance and painting studio. The mural features a strand of hair going up the stair from the entrance to the second floor.
Last Saturday January 17th, my friend and colleague Liz Hickok and I participated in an unusual Art Salon in a private loft in San Francisco. Last Fall Open Studios, psychotherapist Alison Leigh came to my studio and we talked about the possibility of working together showing my work in her studio loft. After a few conversations we invited my studio mate Liz to join us in this project.
The result was a casual but very intentional art salon where both Liz and myself did presentations about our work in front of a non traditional art crowd. Liz talked about her Jello Project and she made a demonstration on how she fabricated the models of San Francisco emblematic buildings. I introduced two projects, The Tenderloin Dreamscapes and my latest public work, The Nomadic Labyrinth.
This interesting collaboration makes me think about the infinite possibilities of expanding the outreach of my art practice while connecting with an alternative audience.
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Save the date! The Nomadic Labyrinth will be at the De Young in October for the Friday Night Event. It will be displayed at the Sculpture Garden near the Cafe.
Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art "happenings" that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours.
Friday Nights at the De Young
October 17th, 5 - 9pm
Golden Gate Park | 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118
Last Thursday June 19th The Nomadic Labyrinth was at the courtyard of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for a Summer Solstice Labyrinth Walk. The labyrinth was available for the public to enjoy just for one day as part of Third Thursdays at Yerba Buena District. For the event I also created The Nomadic Labyrinth Elixir, made with herbs and crystal to have a more personal experience during the walk.
Labyrinths have been used for millennia as a tool for meditation. The Nomadic Labyrinth, a temporary public art installation, will be at YBCA offering this Summer Solstice a contemporary interpretation of an ancient design and tradition.
In many cultures, Midsummer’s Eve is a time when both plants and planets offer a special opportunity to tune into nature, the seasonal shift, and take a moment for personal reflection. Inspired by this tradition, I have created The Nomadic Labyrinth Elixir, a potion of crystals and herbs that can be used to support a personal experience while meditating in the labyrinth.
Summer Solstice Walk with Artist Paz de la Calzada
Jun 19, 2014 4:00pm – 8:00pm
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 04103
Music by Mauro Fortissimo
Please join me at YBCA ConVerge Summer Solstice Walk, featuring my public installation The Nomadic Labyrinth on the YBCA plaza. Try The Nomadic Labyrinth Elixir and learn about potions, herbs and tinctures.
The YBCA:ConVerge series is a free monthly public gathering featuring creative and generative social art practices. It is part of Third Thursdays in Yerba Buena.
Learn more about ConVerge here
The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is dedicating the 3rd Friday Event to the idea of the kind of innovative thinking that has created the entrepreneurial atmosphere of Silicon Valley. Under the title of Design and Innovation the MAH gives the public the opportunity to interact with many projects created for this event.
The Nomadic Labyrinth was invited to be part of Design and Innovation and will stay in the atrium of the museum until June 1st. For the event the labyrinth had a lot of visitors, specially children that seemed to enjoy the vibrant carpet patterns and the intricate arabesque design.
From Santa Cruz, the Nomadic Labyrinth will travel back to San Francisco, this time to Yerbabuena Center for the Arts, YBCA.
Summer Solstice Walk at YBCA
Thursday June 19th, 4 - 8pm
The Nomadic Labyrinth is a mobile public art project funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grants.
It is this time of the year to celebrate life and rebirth. The Nomadic Labyrinth is back and will be featured in two upcoming events in the Bay Area. Come and walk the labyrinth, celebrate the change of season and explore art as a transformational tool!
Museum of Art and History
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
May 16th - June 1st
3rd Fridays Festival:
Friday May 16th, 4 - 8pm
3rd Fridays Festivals connects diverse local organizations, artist and visitors around a specific theme in Santa Cruz Arts and Culture.
Learn more here
701 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Solstice Celebration and Labyrinth Walk
Thursday June 19th, 4 - 9pm
Part of Third Thursdays in Yerba Buena, ConVerge series is a free monthly public gathering featuring creative and generative social art practices. ConVerge is where community and innovative multi- and inter-disciplinary arts practices come together in our free and public spaces in a fluid, interactive, experimental format designed to engage audiences. YBCA's Grand Lobby and Front Door Gallery will come alive during ConVerge events with social art, live music and inspiring curated performances, as well as drinks prepared by YBCA mixologists.
Learn about Converge here
After working with the Nomadic Labyrinth project for several months, I have started using the left over small scraps of recycled carpet to create drawings and installations in my new studio. I find carpet to be a great an flexible material that complements perfectly with my charcoal and other line drawings.
It's always surprising to rediscover the value of discarded materials by putting them in a different context. I have always been interested in questioning the boundaries of drawing and incorporating more permanent materials to create lines and traces. I am interested in using recycled material like carpet and rugs not only for their flexibility, durability and easy transportation but to explore space and themes of re-use.
The images below belong to the first of a series of large scale drawing made directly on the wall. Dimensions are 10' x 12' approximately.