Kitty Blandy and Mary Rusak Find Focus During Pandemic with ‘Meditation Pathway’
Artist Kitty Blandy (BFA 2009) was busy documenting thirty years of her work and practice with help from apprentice Mary Rusak, an artist and recent ECU grad (BFA 2020), when the pandemic hit. The pair had been connected via the Art Apprenticeship Network — a program developed by the Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship to fund student apprenticeships with established artists, curators and cultural workers.
But as the impacts of COVID-19 quickly reached into the minutiae of everyday life, the scope of their work shifted in response. Kitty decided to begin a new piece, ‘Meditation Pathway‘, which has seen Kitty and Mary carving and curving a looping footpath into the ground outside Kitty’s house.
“The site of this project is the front yard of my home, an area that was once lawn but now is a patchwork of various plant species that have seeded themselves in poor soil,” Kitty writes. The footpath’s route was chosen, she adds, by “observing the areas of inherent plant growth, creating a gentle system of pathways across the area.”
“Allowing the natural flora to remain intact was an integral part of the project,” she continues. “The idea of gardening, working with the earth as a form of meditation, led me to reflect on the labyrinth or path as a tool of meditation. However, I am drawn to the making of the pathway as the method of meditation: clearing the path, sifting the soil to remove the stones, and redistributing the earth across the garden – all these actions contribute to a calming of the mind. Repetitive manual actions, focussing the eye and body on a single task, can induce a present state of mind, as opposed to a ruminating one.”
Mary Rusak works on ‘Meditation Pathway’
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