The story of a piece of canvas on a symbolic journey, canvas as body, my body - Kyla Dante Artist
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The story of a piece of canvas on a symbolic journey, canvas as body, my body

The story of a piece of canvas on a symbolic journey, canvas as body, my body


Saint Anthony’s well, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, 2007-2010

Saint Anthony’s well is hidden under a rich canopy of ancient beech trees deep in the Forest of Dean, a meeting place of five ancient springs that flow from the sister rivers the Severn and the Wye. The old stone well has been there for hundreds of years although the site has a history much longer, you can feel the memory of many souls there that have passed through these waters.

 It was a perfect place to take the canvas as a body through this old purification ritual. As the canvas became submerged in the flurry of water the body began to take shape and twist into form. Carried by the stream and then held within the stone walls of the well, the body dispersed back into the liquid sanctuary. From a two dimensional piece of canvas the figure is born and then dies in the water, returning to its original form. Taken from the well and then buried alongside it the canvas enters its next phase. Left buried for time and the earth to be soaked into and absorbed into its hungry fibres. Patches of sky travel over glimpsed through the overlapping canopy above, I am in a timeless space, I feel a quiet connection to everything around me, a leaf takes a graceful descent to the earth.
 Once unearthed the canvas was taken to my studio where the moon phase that had occurred while the piece was buried could be translated onto the canvas. I had made a record of the passage of the moon on a series of prayer flags I had made from old musical manuscript paper. Each day away from the well I made an image of how the moon appeared and a rubbing taken from nature to go with it. Ash from a fire by the well was used to symbolise the body on the canvas and text taken from notes and observations was applied.
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