Conversations with Kirra Kimbrell

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Words by Kirra Kimbrell:

Healing comes in forms different for everyone, for many however, the creative process shed light not only on the areas of ourselves we need to heal, but also the areas that are whole and complete just as they are. There is grace in the creative process to be able to provide this knowledge and beauty in discovering these things on our respective journeys.

For myself, the process of photography has always provided the connection and space needed to facilitate healing; however, recently I embarked on a journey to create paint that was sustainable and used local materials in its construction. The paint I came up with is a clay based paint reminiscent of that of many traditional cultures worldwide. This paint, although simple, allowed me not only to discover some things about the process of where and how my materials are constructed but also further my investigation of the connection of man to the natural world a root source available to us as something to enjoy and cherish.

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This paint is constructed from local clay and sand melded with water and wheat paste. It has a strong, gritty texture, and paints on surfaces in a heavy manner. The quality encapsulates the dirt it comes from.

Clay is a life bringer. It requires water to exist and in essence is a living dirt, a form of earth material between the still and the living. In many stories man is fashioned from clay; it is essential to the shelter, tools, and creative essence of many cultures from the far reaching past up until the present – a continuum from the earliest specks of life until our indeterminate future. Making paint from clay is a tangible reminder of the connection we have to this material, but also to Mother Earth herself.

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The pigments come from a variety of natural sources – plants, dirt, charcoal, and found minerals. They are a reminder that the colors that illuminate our minds are also created from Mother Earth and that we our vibrant world is a gift from the place to which we belong.

Love your land. You are where you belong.

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