sacred vessels

Gift Given, Gift Received by Kerri McGill


The Blind Drink, the Seeing Hold Sky
The Gift
A recurring theme in my images is The GIFT... most plainly expressed in the Vessel series.  It took me a while to see the recurring part until my dear friend and artist, Soapheap Pich, moved back to Cambodia.  His last painted works are a Sacred Vessels series.

His idea of the vessel stays with me, Greek burials, alms bowls, the Grail.  I revisit my flower sketches.  I notice how my people clutch things, like the potted orchid in my "Gift".   The idea is already there... It's in the damn title for Christ's sake!

I ran with it.  I veer from flower paintings in favor of the pots and bowls that hold them.  Oranges are a traditional gift, for Buddha, Chinese dragons, good children, monks, and travelers.  Many of the images have a perspective that flattens out.  This is something I love in 4x5 photography, changing the plane of the negative.  It stays with me in painting still.  I love qualities of the two dimensional.

One Gives, One Recieves
Receive a Gift with Grace
A gift...Give and receive, the action between empty and full embody these images.  Release something to another and make room for something new.  The physical action: one extends something into the personal space of another, one takes something in allowing another's action to impact them.  We are in flux.  Every moment we have something to offer another and we are in desperate need of something just out of our reach.

There is vulnerability in needing.  It is a harrowing terrifying humbling place to be. Even in deepest moments of need, we are so full there is always something to offer, to give to another.