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ArtsATL

Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

Kirstin Mitchell creates experiential environments using various mediums including painting, installation and performance. She is a recent MOCA GA Working Artist Project Fellow and has performed with the support of the Franklin Furnace Fund in New York. Her work has been featured in Art in America, Art Papers and Flash Art magazines.

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When Covid hit I checked out of the concrete world and went to the woods. I was having a relationship with nature when I couldn’t have it with community. A big part of my work is my Buddhist practice and meditation, and hiking became a tool for centering myself. There is a permissiveness to being a multimedia artist that allows me to play with any form, like swamp strolling and making friends with alligators. I didn’t take much with me, my camera, my computer and a few clothes, but no art supplies. I went to a store and picked up plastic table cloths of various colors, and I played with color. I did some deep parasympathetic nervous system healing through meditation, two or three times a day. It was an intense practice. Very inward. Now, in the Ego Te Absolvo exhibit at Eyedrum, I am using curation as a tool to explore the integration of body systems, shared experiences and contemplative environments. 

I lost my dog during Covid and my heart is still raw around it. He was a rescue pit bull, a difficult, edgy critter. I’m not Christian, but I stopped outside a Lutheran church in Ellijay one day and ended up speaking with the preacher for hours. He said faith is about things that are uncomfortable and tender. We cried, we laughed. At the end he said we just had a funeral for your dog. 

Faith and hope are tricky words for me. I hope that as a species we use this time to become more aware of ourselves and our deeper purpose. It’s different for everyone. At the core, it’s about play and joy and gaiety. When everything started opening up again, I hit the road and went to Florida to be in the warmth and the deep green and the swamp smell. I would go deep into the Everglades and dance with fear; I came into fearlessness. Now I feel more connected to myself.

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