Prairie Seed Dreaming
This series of paintings is inspired by native Iowa prairie. My intent is to raise awareness about rewilding and the importance of planting native plants. To learn more visit my blog.
She Sleeps till Spring. Pollen wake her, pollen keep her, held in a bumblebee's embrace. Until, like a tender bud, she opens, her body the blossom, her heart the seed.
How does one go about putting together the scattered pieces of a self so long divided? Wholeness. Growth. Like roots pulled from the land, only the taste of soil remains. There will never be a return to that which is lost. Unearth our own bones, shed our self-skin, plant a prairie within, and fade into flower and leaf. Prairie restoration is not only about rebuilding a lost ecosystem, but about re-evaluating our connection and consumption of the land that is our home. Many besides us call this
Guarded by bees she slept through the winter until she found her spring. Spring arose from a tiny seed held close in the darkness of earth. Held close in the darkness of heart. Sweet as bee pollen, she found she was more than a flower. She was the root.
~Buried in earth. Buried under voices and thoughts for so long. A winter of the soul. When outward seeking ends, and bitter voices fade, and you are finally still, you may find it. The root light, the green glow, the oak spark, the wild self.
~She traded her crown of flowers for one of stone. Her will become iron, her softness hidden away. For she had learned that to settle, was to slowly lose herself.
~ Magic is found in the everyday. Like the nest of a hummingbird, built of milkweed, dandelion fluff and spider silk. It cradles eggs the size of jellybeans, and stretches as the nestlings grow.
She was not the flower, but the fruit. Not the petals, but the root.
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Autumn Rozario Hall- Artist Statement
I first fell in love with the prairie when studying art at the University of Northern Iowa. Wandering the twisting paths of the restored prairie calmed my mind. As I drank in grasshopper droning, late summer’s scent of grass, the pollen, the leaves, and the many colors, I felt grounded and renewed. The prairie sang to me in a way that allowed me to simply be.
I began my prairie series after I moved to Des Moines. I immersed myself in the local prairie, sketching and collecting photos, and samples for reference. I wanted this series to capture the feelings I had while wandering those prairie paths.
This idea blossomed into the series Prairie Seed Dreaming. The series explores the relationship between woman, plant, and pollinator, through botanically accurate renderings of native plants, and dreamlike imagery of women immersed in the prairie landscape. As the divide between woman and prairie blurs, the roles separating them blur, each becoming wholly dependent on the other.
Through these paintings I invite the viewer into the prairie. This series will be used to raise awareness about the importance of prairie restoration and open a dialogue about the benefits of planting natives for both pollinators and people.
Shown at the Octagon Center for the Arts.