We are continuing our series profiling the authors and artists featured in our latest volume, Metamorphosis. Learn more about the Metamorphosis volume here. Click this link to order this and previous volumes.
by Cherice Bock
Editor, Whole Terrain
Alicia Hunsicker contributed four beautiful paintings to our Metamorphosis volume. A Massachusetts artist, Hunsicker served as artist-in-residence in Mallnitz, Austria and Johnson, Vermont. Her work is included in public and private collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Notably, it hangs as part of the Intrude: Art & Life 366 Collection in the Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China. She draws on her interest in science, particularly quantum physics, to create images of poignant beauty which, fractal-like, could depict forms microscopic or cosmic in scale. Her uses of color and whimsy are balanced by structure and form to elicit awe in the viewer.
The pieces appearing in Metamorphosis include “Gaia’s Womb,” “Thought Forms,” “Transfusion,” and “Mana Force.” In “Gaia’s Womb,” an adult woman rests in a womb made from her sweeping hair, the red and orange hues evoking warmth and courage. “Thought Forms” shows a network of branching lines interspersed with glowing orbs. This network could depict neurons, roots, or mycelia, with orbs of thought, water, light, or spores. A human figure emerges from a network of roots in “Transfusion,” with a tree branching from the figure’s head. The title “Transfusion” clues us into the life-or-death necessity of human interconnectivity with the rest of the natural world. “Mana Force” again depicts a human figure, this time silhouetted as in the mouth of a cave, orbs of light and dark fractal patterns suspended like bubbles around the edges of the light. If this were Plato’s cave, what wondrous shadows would this figure see projected on the wall? What luminescent and inspired vision of the world might s/he form? The shapes drip and bleed into one another so the reader recognizes the metamorphic quality of life’s revelations, the permeability of boundaries, the interplay between shadow and light, and the imperfectly beautiful view of reality we perceive at any one level of scale. These images add an aesthetic depth to the words offered in the Metamorphosis volume, and provide visual stimuli encouraging the reader/viewer to emerge changed from the encounter with the volume.
Hunsicker agreed to answer a few questions so we could get to know the woman behind the art.
WT: Do you consider yourself an environmentalist? What do you see as your contribution to the environmental movement, or how do you see your work affecting the way people view the rest of the natural world?
AH: I care deeply about the environment and strive for sustainability by living simply. As an artist, I would like the colors, images, and forms, in my work to reflect Nature’s inherent beauty. My intent is that the familiar repeating patterns in the paintings activate viewers’ inner knowing. This awareness and recognition allows the viewer to experience an epiphany through interconnectivity.
Whole Terrain: Tell us about your work as it pertains to Whole Terrain’s emphasis on reflective environmental practice.
Alicia Hunsicker: I believe everything is connected and that everything has a consciousness — including Nature in all its manifestations. Sometimes, I like to think of the human being as the nervous system of the planet or as one cell in a larger planetary organism. I look at the building blocks and patterns in Nature. I delve into cosmology, physics, biology, and other fields. After reflection, I select elements to which I am drawn, and the multi-layered process of building a painting ensues, ultimately transforming into the final painting.
WT: What drew you to the theme of metamorphosis?
AH: The works selected for Whole Terrain Metamorphosis explore concepts and images in an innovative way which shows the interconnectivity of humanity and the natural world. The Law of One is the comprehension that all things are made of intelligent energy and are a part of the All-One. This philosophy guides my life and creative process. I also speak directly to these themes in my artist statement.
I consider life a metamorphic journey. As an artist, I see the creative process as a metamorphic one. My body of work reflects the changes I have gone through and the discoveries that have unfolded. The way in which I create has its own inherent metamorphic properties.
WT: Would you share with us a little of what you are working on now?
AH: In this new work, I’m excited about the floral elements that have emerged from the organic, complex surface patterns. My palette has exploded into a vibrant kaleidoscope of color!
Through shifts in scale, these paintings play with the relationship between the Heavens (Cosmos) and the Earth. A flower is like a fractal pattern. In fact, there are nebulae and other stellar bodies that resemble flower shapes. It is Nature expressing its divine blueprint.
Once again, the metamorphic qualities necessary to sustain growth and vitality are expressed. The paintings entitled “Rapture” and “I am Becoming” are currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Omega Institute through October, 2015. “Musica Universalis” will be exhibited in a solo show at the Geissler Gallery at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School during the month of October 2015. I’m also delighted to be ending the year with a third solo exhibition at Gallery in the Woods, Brattleboro, VT. What an exciting and demanding year!
Bio: Artist Alicia Hunsicker works from her home studio located in Leyden, a remote hill town in western Massachusetts. Deeply connected to nature and interested in human consciousness, she is inspired by both science and spirituality. She has shown locally, nationally, and internationally and has been awarded numerous grants, awards, and residencies for her work. To learn more about Alicia and see more of her work, visit her website.