I am happy to announce the completion of my mural titled "Birdsong" in conjunction with Athfest Educates, Lyndon House, and Philanthropy Fashion in Athens GA. I was assisted throughout the duration of this project by 4 incredible High School assistants, Jeremy Kiran Fernandes, Sam Watson, Kalib Hubbard, and Mara Bastow. Here are some images of the creation, installation, and final product.
I recently completed a very special Woodcut in collaboration with Double Dutch Press in Athens Ga as part of their [Blank]. This edition of 50 prints was pulled by the ladies at Double Dutch print, on Stonehenge Cotton Rag Paper with a deckled edge on 3 sides. I carved the block, embossed, and gold/copper leafed each print myself. I also created unique adornments around the numbering, title, signature, and border around each and every print. Every one is one of a kind and very special. You can find them <HERE>
Here are some photos of the process in creating and printing this image::
The Hawk gave up its song
for its purposeful descent.
You could have both,
and yet you wallow amongst
possession and all these things.
INK + EARTH
NOVEMBER 7TH, 2015
THE BELOVED LAND
Athens, Georgia is my home - it is where my heart resides. Its roots extend deep enough to meet the Ancestors of this land; the Creek (or Muscogee) Indians are some of these Ancestors. They, like me, planted their hearts here, and it is from these seeds that my work inevitably grows. They called this land, between the forks of the Oconee Rivers, Ikunu- tchaka, the Beloved Land. It was more than a special place to them, it was Sacred, and they gave their lives to protect it and the creatures that reside upon it. Because this land is my "Beloved Land" as well, I am dedicating the next year to working directly from its inspiration. Beginning in October 2016 I will embark on the "Beloved Land Series."
This work, as with all my art, will consist of a variety of mediums and techniques, anchored upon a particular devotion. Each month I will be producing 10 primary images; initially executed as drawings, they will reference denizens of the local landscape, plants, animals, insects, and ecosystems, both native and introduced. These will be things I see, hear, smell and feel with my body, mind, and spirit. I will not use a computer for reference during this time; instead I will focus on what I see, assisted by what I can find in books in my collection and at the libraries found on the Beloved Land.
From these 10 primary images, I will, each month, produce original works, tattoos, screenprints, photographs, and poems inspired by the Land. This will be a wide and expansive body of work, built upon the very prolific manner I have worked in for over 10 years as a professional artist, but novel in its focus on one subject over the period of a year. I use locally sourced materials whenever possible, and finish most of my works with walnut ink I make by hand from walnuts I find in the woods behind my home. This body of work represents a very natural and organic course of my life and work. It feels very much like a tributary that has reached a major confluence.
David Hale September 2015
I am a Bramble
One day they will bulldoze all the woods I grew up in,
A creek, a cricket, a salamander, a frog, all placed under the steel hammer of a race that none of us are winning.
That water does not run any longer, a detention pond, holding all the tainted memories of a place of a young boys dreams.
Dirt and brambles held such stories, red clay is the color of my blood.
I hang my head and cry at the loss of these, I tell you no one is winning.
Oh but I hold onto a seed,
I know what those waters said to me,
and all the blood that fell from the wounds of those brambles
feeds a depth that no bulldozer can reach.
Love is my Creek, and I pass that on to my Son from me.
Put a sign on all the land, sell what has always been free
You can take all this shit, pile it up for all to see
Bigger houses, faster cars, shiny things
mean nothing compared to what that Creek meant to me.
Oh, why can't you see. I cry out my eyes, I sit down on my knees, my heart pours out and I just want you to see, what it means to me.
Step away from these screens and take some time to see what I mean.
I fell down, sometimes I don't want to get back up again
It can be so calm down there, but there is always something pulling me back up here.
Oaks and Pines, they make it look so easy, it's a matter of time.
My journey seems so arduous when I only see it as mine.
It's a matter of time.
Oh but then I feel the Divine, hands on my shoulders, tears on the ground and sometimes I don't want to get back up again.
Bury me in the soil, make me Oaks and Pines, some part of me has die, it's a matter of time.
You think you have let go, and the Love comes to pull at what you hold in your hands. All this Flesh and Blood, Emotions and Thoughts, take it from me Love.
My body will become cold and my flesh will fall off the bones, then the Warmth will come, it's a matter of time.
Break me wide open scatter the seeds of Oaks and Pines.
I will hold up the stars and they will pull me in. Stand so tall and then I will fall. I will then grow back again. I am Oak I am Pine, it's a matter of time
Last month I was given the true blessing of getting to spend the better part of a week at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the Lakota People. I was there with Conscious Alliance and the Strong Hold Society directing a youth art program. We brought food that was donated for posters created by artists for Conscious Alliance, and we brought a truck full of skateboards, some of which I designed, to distribute to the youth at their new skatepark. The art program I created was teaching the kids how to make bird sculptures from used skateboard decks. I brought a pile of decks that were flawed decks donated by a friend that makes skateboards, these decks were not suitable to be ridden and perfect for this project. The goal was to show the young people that there are art materials all around us and with a few simple tools we can create something beautiful from something that would otherwise be discarded. One man's trash is another man's art.
I came hoping to inspire children; to give them tools to tell their story. I was unaware of the inspiration they would impart on me. These children are not given the opportunities they deserve, and their story is told all too frequently from the outside in, with a focus on the poverty they live in and the problems they face. This story fails to tell the Spiritual wealth these children live amongst. They are not given the tools to tell their story themselves, it is easier to just report on what we see. What I saw was beautiful children, these are OUR CHILDREN, that are not given the tools they deserve to reflect the beauty that is within them. If you cannot look at these people and see our Brothers and Sisters and or Sons and Daughters, you need to wipe the dust from your eyes. We live in a country that is fueled by the blood of their ancestors and they deserve more than they are offered.
To be inspired is to "Be in Spirit" and these young people truly brought me closer to Spirit. I was inspired, and they were inspired, this is what we all deserve; to reside continually "In Spirit." It is time we give these children the tools they deserve to be inspired and to inspire us with their stories. So, I am going back, this time with my family, to start helping to lay the foundation for something bigger. To not just feed people, but to give them the skills to use art to feed themselves. It is better to teach a person to fish than to give them fish. And what better what to feed than with art, for it feeds the Soul, and it is only when our Souls are fed that we find freedom, we find peace, and we find Unconditional Love.
I am asking for your help, please support Conscious Alliance and the Stronghold Society, and the work they are doing. They are empowering youth, and you should be empowered by assisting them in doing such. I designed a skateboard for them, and the proceeds go straight back to projects like this, so please buy one, and skate it or put it on your wall and think about what it means to be "inspired" and what that means to OUR young people. May you be Blessed in every step you take.