Blessings on the Land

For many years, my field was ceramics. In the beginning, I liked to think that the earth provided me with both materials and inspiration. I was minimally aware of mining practices, or the effects of mineral extraction on the health of surrounding communities, and I certainly wasn't aware of the risks I was taking by breathing metallic oxide fumes from kilns in studios and industrial situations where I worked. And then I was, necessitating a change in direction.


I became less interested in making objects and built structures, and more interested in drawing directly on the land. The first drawings were flour and chalk, marking water sources in the California desert.


These were followed by "Blessings On the Land: Flash Beach", drawings created by moonlight at waters edge on Pacific Ocean beaches in Washington state. The lines are made with fine glass particles, illuminated only by an external flash. They were drawings in light, meditations witnessed on camera, to be erased by the incoming tide.

Along Seattle's Duwamish River, missiles designed for nuclear tipped missions were assembled at the Boeing Missile Production Center. When the building was razed in 2012, it left a huge open swath of bare earth with no sign of the historic wartime preparations that had taken place there. I drew one gingko leaf on the land to grace the site. Gingko was the only tree to survive the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The shimmering glass particle leaf glows in late afternoon light, to be washed away in the rain.


The "button drawings" are domestic blessings. Buttons: common, everyday objects used to fasten the garments we wear to protect our bodies, made of bone, shell , glass or plastic, strategically sewn on one at a time, by hand or machine, removed and saved by someone, to be used again and again. Buttons: innocent, homey, innocuous- unlikely messengers for big ideas.

©1979-2016 Laura Sindell

Web Authoring: Todd Metten