9/14 SF Event: Visualize Birth and the Female Body with Arla Patch
Please Abide with Me (Copyright 2012, Arla Patch. All Rights Reserved)
It is with much excitement that I return to the artwork of Maine artist, Arla Patch, who will be showing her work at Rites of Passage Midwifery (62 Hattie Street, 94114) in San Francisco, opening Friday, September 14th! In an earlier post, Visualizing Birth discussed how Arla’s beautiful work can be used in the visualization of birth, pregnancy, and fertility while celebrating and exploring all life phases of the female experience. If you live in San Francisco or the Bay Area, please join in this fantastic opportunity to see such unique artwork!
Arla’s Please Abide with Me, pictured above, represents one of her coil drawings, a special technique of using coils of colored polymer clay to create exquisite relief sculptures. A rich tapestry of the female body comes to life in the coils of the piece, encompassing a variety of life forms from nature, including flowers, shells, dragonflies, lizards, hummingbirds and bees. A clear white sand dollar opens up the purification center of the body’s throat chakra, while the intricate weavings of a turtle shell, symbolic of logevity, emerge from between the woman’s breasts as her heart. Within the body’s pelvic region, a magnificent butterfly opens its wings, above which circles a small mandala-like form reminiscent of a labyrinth. Labyrinths of birth are very helpful for mothers to utilize as they envision their babies passaging from the uterus. The labyrinth of Arla’s work is nourished by the moist greens and colorful details of the body’s form, and the entire body spreads out lushly like a fertile garden.
Explaining the origins of Please Abide with Me to me in our correspondence, Arla has described some more of the artwork’s meaning,
The piece is a visual prayer to remind me that the divine permeates me and everything in the world I inhabit. This is more a reminder to me to remember what is already true.
Special prints of Arla’s beautiful coil drawings will be on display at the San Francisco showing this month, and the artist will be present at the September 14th opening…don’t miss out!
Arla Patch, BFA, Ed., MFA, is a creativity midwife, writer and artist whose own life generated the focus of her life’s work. An early trauma history sowed the seeds of a transformative recovery. Her artistic nature led her to use art as a tool for healing for herself and to support others in their healing.
Her two award winning books are available on her website at Fine Art America. and her artwork is available through her online gallery at