We are the Earth; sacred and profane. We are material and the things we make are made of the same elements that make us. The constellation of forces that shape who we are also falls upon our creations, determining what form they take, what purpose they serve, who will love them, and who will throw them away. Will they live long or be consumed by loneliness?
In Trash Totems, the sacred becomes not a quality put on an object, nor a spell put on a person, but a special bond that exists between the two. This magick imbues an object with the divine, allowing it to channel the immaterial relationships that bind us to one another. These relationships become the things that Lizzy Wetzel is harnessing.
Wetzel’s practice is one of seeking out these sacred relationships and collecting the objects they are contained within. She speaks the language of the silent, showing us that these things will talk to those who listen. An orange peel, Joe Frank’s hair, a bone fragment - they all become her primary materials.
In these 13 sculptures, she combines these materials through an intricate alchemy to build new relationships from her old ones. Each element added creates a new facet. What was a love for only two becomes a triangle, then a hexagon, an octagon, and eventually, by including us all, becomes a circle. They are totems; monuments celebrating the life we have had together.
Gravity pulls the Earth's weight into itself, compressing all of its material into stone and flesh. Like the pressure upon an igneous rock, these forces push on us along with our refuse. We are of this earth! As we bury ourselves amongst our things, we rejoice in marvel, consumed by the world and transformed by its gravity.
-James Case Leal
Thank you Alison V. Smith for lovely photos of Trash Totems opening at Bows & Arrows...
Snake Oil's Forest Princess Headdress: Birch bark lined with soft black deer leather, chicken, crow, and pheasant feathers