Cheng-Ling Chen is an "everyday heroine" who created Herliograph to spotlight some of the inspiring women she sees doing amazing things, mostly unseen or under-appreciated by the world at large. Her hope is that people everywhere can connect deeply with one another's stories and in so doing, illuminate their own paths. I was humbled when she asked to include me among the shining spirits displayed on her site. My experience of gender identity embraces womanhood and expressions beyond the binary. I am forever in exploration of all that I claim to be, and appreciate conversations like this to crawl around in the spaces where ideas and language meet.
In October 20017, Chris Turner photographed me among the Cypress and Eucalyptus trees inhabiting the North West coast of Ramaytush-Ohlone land, and I shared some of my personal stories with Cheng-Ling. Visit my feature, Cosmic Dust , and meet some of my co-conspiritors!
It was so exhilarating to be in a room full of my own creative explosions and to watch people engaging with every detail. THANK YOU to everyone who came out and brought their whole self ready to discover color and play in between the lines. THANK YOU to everyone who helped bring this vision to life and break it back down again. I appreciate your support more than I can even say, and love you so! THANK YOU to everyone from afar who sent beaming waves of excitement our way on Saturday. I do intend to turn this all into a roadshow one day and bring all the excitement back to you ...
My practice with watercolor and ink began during my first winter living in Brooklyn, NY after wrapping up four years of creative development in acting school and ditching my TV. I was in a major transition in life and awakening into far more questions than answers. Fortunately, I was invigorated with curiosity and had the works of my artistic and mystic predecessors to guide me:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” - Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
On snowy nights, I would sit at my desk (a second-hand coffee table with a pillow on the floor), crank up some dubby bass music and elevate into a state to create. This was The Answer to my solitude, to my emerging spiritual inquiry, and to my need for a creative outlet. Seven years later, this practice is one of the greatest gifts in my life, and has fueled a creative path that extends beyond the medium that started it all.
This practice is more than creative, it is meditative. It is a time for my mind to ramble on, pitching concepts to my soul. It is a time for my mind to listen, gleaning insights from my heart. It is time for my mind to play, releasing stress and strain. It is a time for my mind to be open and free, flowing as an undefined identity.This practice is my teacher, helping me accept each brush stroke, sporadic as it may be, as an integral part of the Now and embrace the creative process as a vehicle for transformation.
Each piece in the show was born of this process and imbued with the bohemian tenets of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love. (Ahem… Thanks, Baz Lurhmann and Moulin Rouge) I make an effort to bring my most authentic self to the table, and I offer this collection to you with the wish that you do the same. The perspective that you bring to the work is a key part of its presentation. This body of work is about discovery without definition. Perhaps the unknown isn’t some gaping abyss, but instead a colorful realm filled with imaginings that have not yet been born into thought. Discover yourself in the winding linescapes and abstract renderings; let your mind wander - it is safe to explore. I encourage you to dive deeper.
“I am my best work - a series of road maps, reports, recipes, doodles, and prayers from the front lines.” - Audre Lorde
"Together we have the capacity to create change and build a vision of the world that's possible. Join the movement for people and planet as we come together to increase the pace in the race for a just and sustainable world! " - 2015 National Bioneers Conference
On Saturday, October 17, Crescent Moo_n Productions will bring La Alquemista: a Circus-Theater Fable to the National Bioneers Conference in Santa Rosa, CA. As you may remember, our story is a modern myth told through dance, contortion, physical theater and song. I know we will feel right at home in the Bioneers community as our voices come together to share a story of hope for the future! It is an honor to be among so many vibrant, international leaders in science, art, humanity and healing to share our perspectives on water, climate, restorative justice, indigenous knowledge, women's leadership and more.
I hope you can join us at 2:15 PM in the Exhibit Hall
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
- The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho-
Loosely inspired by Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist,’ La Alquimista draws on dance, contortion, physical theater and song to bring a mythical and magical adventure to life inside the Tenderloin National Forest. Shmee performs alongside an inspiring cast of dancers, contortionists, healers and actors in this playful and inspiring vignette.
THURSDAY 9/17 6:00 PM FRIDAY 9/18 7:00 PM
SATURDAY 9/19 2:30 PM SUNDAY 9/20 4:00 PM
WEDNESDAY 9/23 7:00 PM THURSDAY 9/24 6:00 PM
For More information: http://www.crescentmoontheaterproductions.com/
What a true delight it was to roam the rolling landscape of the Institute for Noetic Sciences with the 9th Annual Women's Visionary Congress! Amidst inspiring discussion lead by women researchers, healers, activists and artists, The Shmeasel collected colors, collective voices, living symbols, forms unformed. All that stirred between words.... the visions bright and bold, and a few questionable splatters.
Thank you to the vibrant community at the Women's Visionary Congress for the opportunity to unlock such beautiful potential with you.
Shmee is excited and honored for emergence to be featured among selected works in the Dream Art Exhibition, held in conjunction with the 31st annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams.
emergenge, by samsara shmee
to dream in color is not to see but to feel color, and fill in the lines after waking. faces form from the phantasm as the definition of lips, of eyes returns to my mind. who is this mysterious storyteller reminding me of my own majesty?
in a dream state, we discover ourselves as both foreign and familiar to the identities we live in waking reality. one can attempt to retell a dream, when in truth, the illusory nature of such states of consciousness leaves even memories lacking.
this work creates portals into such evocative worlds, where identity is lost in abstract renderings. by softening ones’s eyes into the winding linescapes and dissolving hues, there is a beckoning opportunity to lose one’s self and rediscover experience from a new perspective.
Shmee submitted the following paintings for review as well, though they will not be featured in the upcoming exhibit:
The collective paintings cultivated at festivals and events behold the rich, diverse expressions of vibrant communities. Colors and voices mix and mingle, organically complimenting one another and keeping the whole in balance.
Shmee takes these commUNITY paintings and outlines the gradations of color with black ink, unifying the harmonic chaos. Each 18x24 painting is then divided evenly into 33 pieces to be reseeded at the next event.
We are each an important piece of the puzzle, unique and deeply connected to the whole. By exploring these connections, we can discover (and enjoy!) more about ourselves and the world in which we live.
Bass music producer AKASHA (George Rollins) is one of Shmee’s greatest influences. It was an inspiration and honor to design the album art for his first EP, The Conduit, released on the Vermin Street label. The 7 tracks were on repeat throughout the creation of the Conduit painting, and AKASHA’s music was the key that unlocked the flow… such a special collaboration! Click through the image to preview the set, or purchase at addictech.com. Check out more of AKASHA’s music on his soundcloud page and e-mail Shmee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in custom work!
It wasn’t until a surrender took place of allowing the songs to become what it wanted to naturally and flowing with the inspiration, rather than forcing the will upon the music, did the songs begin to show themselves as something unique and worth while. That is why this new EP is called Conduit: a natural or artificial channel through which something fluid is conveyed. Akasha listens to these songs as manifestations of his subconscious, listening with miraculous wonder that they spawned from nothing and have became a capsule of emotion and spirit. By relaxing and enjoying the process of creation, rather than judging the music every step of the way, Akasha has been able to open the doors of creation and consistently make music that has depth and can be considered complete.
This is Akasha’s first official EP that he is honored to have released by the very reputable label Vermin Street. The EP is a blend of rhythms and vibes that could be fit into a variety of categories, with a focus point around ethnic sounds and organic instruments, each filled with many layers of soundscapes. These songs are less dance anthems and more like listening to a musical story unfold. Being often told that his music invokes a vision of a scene in a movie, the tunes have a cinematic quality to them that Akasha seeks out when searching for his own new music. Listeners can expect much more to come, the journey has just begun for what Akasha has to bring for us.