Opening Celebrations November 11-12
Gallery at Creative Pinellas
Five visual artists whose work will be featured
at the Creative Pinellas Arts Annual celebration
share the stories and ideas behind their work.
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In the acrylic painting series, SACRED SPACES, mandalas are used to create sacred spaces in which we can contemplate and expand our understanding of life and self.
Mandalas, meaning “circles” in Sanskrit, are sacred symbols that can be used for meditation, prayer, and healing. They are spiritual guides to quiet the mind, focus attention, and open a path to enlightenment and self-awareness.
These paintings invite us to ponder the meaning of each symbol within the mandala and how it relates to our life and worldview. The patterned reflection on the figure is a visual representation of the process of our conscious self, merging with the cosmic, to remind us of our relation to the infinite – the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.
FORMS OF WEALTH: The Star of Lakshmi (Hindu)
In Hinduism, Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, beauty, love, fortune, joy, and wealth, is represented by an 8- pointed star called the Star of Lakshmi.
Lakshmi has eight emanations, which are represented by two entwined squares forming an octagon. These emanations represent eight forms of wealth – family, health and nourishment, material wealth, endless prosperity, patience, victory, knowledge, and the ability to transport. I added a Coptic cross to the center of the mandala because I consider the ninth form of wealth to be faith.
In this painting, the Star is at the center of the mandala and invites you to ponder the various forms with which we can be blessed with abundance.
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CREATION: The Flower of Life (Cross Cultures)
One of the world’s most ancient symbols, the Flower of Life signifies the divine, mathematical order in all of life. It consists of evenly spaced, overlapping circles that are believed to be a visual expression of life, consciousness and creation. And it is one of the original sacred geometry designs.
In the theory of Sacred Geometry, geometrical (or mathematical) patterns found in nature are evidence of intelligent design. Many believe they are evidence of creation by a higher power.
* The Flower of Life offers a guide for us to contemplate how we are connected to each other and to all living things. It leads us to consider the importance of that connection for all of us to thrive. The Symbol has been found at The Temple of Osiris in Egypt, The Forbidden City in China, and many other sacred sites all over the world.
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CHANGE: Mmere Dane (Ghana – Adinkra)
At the center of this mandala meditation painting, is the “Mmere Dana” a West African Adinkra symbol, which translates as “time changes.”
The symbol features an hourglass-like image with a horizontal line at its center and a circle. It is a reminder that nothing lasts forever, neither the good nor the bad. It also invites you to contemplate the transience of all things.
So, when you are fortunate and are experiencing good times, savor them because they will not last forever. In the same way, as bad situations happen, take heart and comfort in knowing that those too will pass.
And so, since nothing is permanent in life, we should always be cooperative, humble and hopeful in everything we do.
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CONNECTIONS: Tree of Life (Cross Cultures)
“The Tree of Life” is a symbol that traverses countless cultures and spans time immemorial. It has a multitude of meanings, history and cultural distinctions.
For some, it can be used as a meditation on how all living things are all connected. The Tree can also remind us of the importance of being grounded, or the importance of nurturing our family roots.
In this painting, The Tree of Life is at the center of the mandala and offers a space where we can contemplate our connections to others and the universe.
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During the first months of the pandemic, I found myself in a predicament. My painting exhibit in New York had ended, and the work was in storage, waiting to be picked up.
I made the decision to fly to New York, collect the paintings, and drive home in a rental car. I carefully planned the trip so that my stops would be in places with the lowest-reported COVID cases.
One of those stops was Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I rented a cabin for two days and hiked into the surrounding forests. Being so immersed in nature and chasing the streams and waterfalls deep in the mountains, the inspiration for this new body of work was born.
It diverges from my usual graphic representations of palm trees, by which many people know me. But it aligns with my other work in that it represents a tranquil moment of beauty.
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As a painter, printmaker, sculptor, and maker of artist books, my work reflects universal themes of emergence and regeneration. Direct observation and immersion in the natural world informs this work and its themes of permanence, impermanence, transience and regeneration.
My painting, Verve Supreme, was influenced by walks though Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Pete, focusing on the diversity, regeneration and transformation of the palms and plant life during these walks. Also studies in Jungian psychology forged an allegory on the archetype of the hero’s journey which permeates through Verve Supreme.
The large book, the Alchemical Text, was made from rust, tin, linen, intaglio, lithographs and paper. Created by working outside, placing paper onto rusted ceiling tin tiles and letting the Florida rain pummel the paper into the rust surface, thereby creating a matrix for each page.
Hidden text appears on every page. The quote, ‘’Forgetting is not the opposite of remembering, but memory’s underbelly’’ informs the content of these pages.
The Blue Book of Love & Longing explores the tangles, swirls, swoons and swoops of love and longing. Making artist books challenges me to reveal meaning through form and design.
Making art entices me into the mystery of nature and the landscape of memory. This nourishes my art and feeds my soul.
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My artwork focuses on existence, consciousness and our relation to both. At times I also take a critical view on social, political and cultural issues and how they impact the human condition.
The most recent work relates to themes of mortality, decay and re-generation, and loss and pain.
My preferred medium in painting is oils. The multiple layers of paint on the canvas depict the multilayered themes behind the work and the subject. The image is developed by adding and subtracting layers, by using a restricted palette and by optical blending through the use of broken colors. At time I use installation and video to reflect on different perspectives of a theme or an issue.
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Patricia Kluwe Derderian
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It is such an honor to be part of the Arts Annual at Creative Pinellas. Having my work in their beautiful gallery and having the chance to help fundraising for this organization that helped me in so many ways is just amazing.
In 2020 I received one of the Emerging Artist Grants and was assigned the mentor and amazing interdisciplinary artist Caitlin Albritton. She was wonderful and, like a kind of psychologist of the arts, asked questions and made me question and listen to myself.
I don’t think I know exactly where I am going but I do know that wherever I am in my artistic journey, I am being true to myself and will continue to follow my instincts and expression.
This year at Arts Annual, I am showing three new paintings – part of my Travels series I am calling (♥ matter). They explore huge moments in life that changed the way I see the world. I hope many people will relate to that.
The title of the series plays with the name of the substance Dark Matter, that was the theme of artist Jason Hackenwerth’s exhibit at Creative Pinellas, and inspired me to think about it and use it in my own context.
The painting called Midnight in Montmartre (♥ matter) is a collection of memories and feelings of the day and week when my husband proposed to me in Paris during a very interesting and unexpected trip. It is impregnated with the ambience and symbols that connect me back to that night and the way it changed our lives.
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– The space around the Basilica of Sacre Coeur was unusually empty that night as we walked around Montmartre. It was a beautiful night with the Paris skyline glowing on our left. He surprised me by dancing a salsa without music and getting on his knees (something that got me very surprised, happy and uncomfortable). He asked if I wanted to be his fiancée and after I meowed – yes, literally – we danced. That’s when this lady came towards us dancing and skipping. She gave us her hands and we started jumping around as if we were playing a child’s circle game. Like nothing weird had just happened, we then wandered around until we stopped at this little bar-restaurant with live music and ordered some champagne. At that moment, the group started playing the Brazilian song I grew up listening to my father play on the guitar called “O Pato” from João Gilberto. It was a very mystical special night. –
The painting called Dream Week (♥ matter) is about the week of our wedding in Jericoacoara, Brazil. A week that we spent with only our closest friends and family, mixing our cultures from Brazil and France and seeing connections and friendships being created as if there were no language barriers. Everyone was so intensely connected that there was this shared feeling as if time had stopped only to host those intense moments.
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– The figures in the center are the closest friends we chose to create and to “be” the ceremony. We are watching them seated with our hands together “helping” each other handle the very frequent “explosions” of emotion. On the right, you see some of our friends and family very casually seated participating in this intense and intimate moment not as spectators but as part of ourselves. The feeling was as if the energy that connected us was so strong, we could almost touch it. On the background, you can see the sea and the wind that is blowing our flag, representing nature and giving us their blessings. And the kitesurf, a very strong sport in “Jeri” – nickname for “Jericoacoara” – that is part of our shared adventures as a couple. –
The third painting is called Pure Love (♥ matter) and it shows the new life after we had our two kids, a boy and a girl, and the discovery of this new form of love that is so overwhelming and magic. Having kids made me feel like a whole other parallel version of the world and of myself, was suddenly created.
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– This painting shows an ordinary day at Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin. When we sit together and watch the kids play on the sand, we often get emotional thinking about the miracle of life and the luck we have, to LIVE in such an amazing planet. The sailboat is there to represent the physical presence of the wind and the kite comes back as a reminder and symbol of our lives with all its adventures, excitement, emotions, love, fears, doubts, challenges, conquers and pure joy. –
Visual artwork by these Pinellas artists and many more will be on display through December 31 at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas.
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The Gallery at Creative Pinellas
12211 Walsingham Rd
Largo FL 33778
Wednesday – Sunday
Noon – 5 pm
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