Lesley Casady

Amulets

 

I lost my mother over this past year. Now that she is gone, memories of the lessons she taught me come flooding back. She came from a rich cultural background of natural healing and awareness of the interconnectedness of all life. I carry with me her story and the story and traditions of our foremothers.  I re-enact the roles of Nurturer, Healer, Storyteller, each role playing a part in creating a space within which transformation and growth can take place. Each role is an aspect of Maker. 

I’m inspired by forms in nature that capture the essence of healing, renewal and protection. For me, as for my mother, there is magic in plant and animal life and in natural cycles. Seeds carry within them entire trees. At the moment when the first primordial root and leaf emerge from a seed, a vast energy source and transformative power is unleashed. Spiraling, unfurling tap roots and branches, seeking out sun and water, embody the essence of growth and life. Fruits, vegetables and insects take on colors and shapes weirder and more surprising than science fiction. Housecats, no matter how familiar, still manage to give us a glimpse of the untamable wild. The absolute absurdity of natural forms inspires me and reveals that nature has an unmatched sense of humor. Maurice Sendak and Dr. Suess understood this very well. As a child I spent hours gazing at their illustrations- feeling taken in by their worlds. 

In creating these amulet sculptures, my aim is to sprinkle a little bit of real-life magic here and there and to create a protected space for transformation. I invite you to be taken into this world.

See more at lesleycasady.com

Functional Mushrooms
Medicine Woman
Renewal
To Keep Away The Evil Eye
You Are Not Alone
Becoming
Amulets

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Beautiful. I can’t stop staring at The Medicine Woman. I love how in each Amulet you’re taken on a journey into your mind. I see the inspiration from Where The Wild Things Are, humor, and magic, but all of it is simultaneously so unique. Love, love, love to see a million more!

Congratulations Lesley. I really enjoyed working with you this semester and witnessing all the transformation that is art practice. I look forward to hearing where your process takes you next.

What strikes me most about these sculptures is the way they relate to us viewers. They clearly resemble natural organisms, bringing to mind Lesley’s interest in Hawaii’s ecology. They float in the air, however, like beings that have somehow evolved into ethereal, spiritual guardians of the forest. I see their connection to the characters of Sendak and Seuss, but even more so to those of Miyazaki Hayao (the use of felt as a material and the occasional inclusion of a sleepy eye immediately brings to mind the endearing Totoro).

My thoughts then drift to two topics that Miyazaki often alluded to in his films: the state of our planet’s ecosystem and the Shinto belief that every being in our environment–every mushroom, every stone–is a sentient creature worthy of deep respect and even awe. Is the human imagination an ecosystem, and can creatures born in one artist’s fantasies pollenate through artistic influence to someone else’s mind? If so, then these Amulets are hardy creatures! In addition to Sendak’s, Seuss’, Miyazaki’s, and Lesley’s minds, now they inhabit my own!

Bravo on a great exhibition, and I look forward to seeing how your artwork continues to (pardon the pun) evolve!

I glimpsed the world through the artist’s eyes with these amulets.
Reading the artists statement and viewing the images of her sculptures, I feel a great respect and love of nature conveyed to me.
It’s very powerful how the artist speaks about her past and how it relates to her in the present, as an artist. She talks about how her mother passed on a tradition of connecting with nature and how that connection brings energy into her current life.
I see that these amulets are manifestations of spirituality and interconnection with nature, taught to the artist by her mother, who was taught by her mother and so on. connection via connection. Simple but powerful.
LOVE these works! Can’t wait to see more!
Congratulations on all your beautiful, hard work

Absolutely fantastic work, that I was lucky enough to see being made over the past several months…it’s been a privilege to see you journey from learning the process of felting, figuring out the direction you were going in, and making these amulets of such presence and power. They really are manifestations of your inner spirit and life experience, which I’ve been fortunate to be a part of…and this is just the beginning!

So wonderful, Lesley. I feel a stirring deep inside me and a thrill of energy across my skin as I soak in the shapes and colors and textures of your work. These are such potent fertile images and they hold a powerful primal appeal. I see them as a conduit to that from which we come. And I agree wholeheartedly that the distance that comes between us and our Great Mother is the prime source of suffering in our world. By reestablishing our essential maternal bond we can extend our connection with her outward to our natural home and all of our sisters and brothers, be they barked, shelled, feathered or furred. This is the exercise of our planetary interconnectedness.
Our mother would have loved this work, Lesley, as she delighted in your gift for for making the magical real. She recognized in you the power to see through the artifice of false order and reveal the glorious and mysterious undercurrent that that nurtures our souls.
Your ever-loving sister,
Caro OXO

Lesley,
Playful and yet they hold a gravity of the sacredness that is our connected natural work. I appreciate the organic feeling of the felt and the desire to touch and see this is real life! Your film helped demonstrate how they present in 3-D. Congratulations on finding this expression of yourself and the meaning in life as you processed losing your mom.

Wow! Congratulations Lesley! These amulets are so amazing and unique just like the myriad endemic plants and animals that constitute our native forests! I look forward to seeing more…

Lesley– these are powerful talismans to connect us to the mother spirits — which we need so desperately in these times. We need these colorful creatures! Congrats Lesley!

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