Sunday, May 4, 2008
Rachel Rodi - Personal & Universal Inspiration
I remember chatting with Rachel Rodi when she was working on this garden path mosaic. As she described it to me, it was difficult to imagine exactly what she was creating, let alone the amount of work she was pouring into it. Now, as I look at the photo, I get such a sense of peace. It really is pretty. Isn't it? I am wholly impressed by the beauty in its simplicity. I can tell that Rachel really put a lot of love into these simple bands of mosaic color that run so close to the roses. Since I currently live in the dregs of urban wasteland with not much of anything soothing to see, I can only dream of having my own little rose garden with as lovely a mosaic in the near future.
Rachel has a deep spiritual connection with art. Even as a small child, she continually had some art project going. Her drawings ranged from realism to fantasy. She claims that art was in her blood and that she has known her entire life that she was going to be an artist.
Mosaic is ever-gaining in popularity as more artists are attracted to the medium. All it took for Rachel was seeing the work of another mosaic artist to evoke an instantaneous response:
The light bulb went off! This is it! The form I had been looking for...
Rachel doesn't feel that it is necessary to label art. She views it as a " deep creative expression that can be conveyed through a miryad of forms". Her favorite art forms are mosaics and contact-improvosational dance. She finds magic in mosaics- something alive in mosaic art that dances! Making art and dancing (sometimes at the same time!) connects her to her deepest consciousness and inspiration. She creates it for the magic that happens in the moment. She is continually striving to improve her skill levels so that she might have more freedom to express what comes to her in the moment.
I think art is crucial for the well being of humanity, of people. To have art and individual expression in our environments can give joy, thought, empowerment and uplift. I am drawn to make mosaics that will touch as many people as possible, especially those who have less access to creative resources. I am not sure how this is going to play out but this is my desire.
A multitude of elements inspire Rachel's mosaics, dance being just one. Her work reflects freedom and movement. She attributes much of this to the use of mirrors which also add a lyrical quality.
Rachel frequently draws from the textiles and life of the people in India that she experienced in her travels to that country. She finds inspiration in the depth of color, layering, patterns and of course the mirror work in Indian textiles.
I saw homes with mirrors embedded in the interior mud walls. There can be great order in the midst of chaos and chaos in the midst of order- in the art, textiles, life and all there.
Rachel enjoys using rich color, symbols, whimsy, texture, abstracted realism and patterns in her mosaics.
Current themes for my personal work are the evolution of life / passing of time / timelessness... spiritual source / inner sanctuary / personal and universal inspiration......you know, the dichotomy of things!
Read more about Rachel's work by visiting her web site. Rachel was once an employee at Institute of Mosaic Art in Oakland.
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