a state of grace, a sense of place

On this Sunday evening I thought I would just do a small post about displaying objects that hold personal meaning. I have a personal connection to Kwan Yin. She is considered the goddess of compassion and mercy in many Eastern cultures. She is an elegant willowy figure often portrayed in blanc de chine, draped with strands of pearls and flowing cloth billowing in the wind. Associated with motifs of the lotus flower, water elements, an urn or  weeping willow branch { to collect tears } she is connected with nature and maternal love, and is a highly revered and adored bodhisattva. I had a profound dream once about Kwan Yin, and ever since started coming across white statuettes of her form.  I was drawn to them for both their symbolic meaning and also their beauty, and started collecting them.

I created this vignette in the living room upon my home. I look upon it every day and love it.  You can see how graceful the statuettes are, with the poised hands, the flowers, the undulating cloth and waves. Her face is so peaceful, gentle. She is grouped with found objects, some seaweed, coral, beach glass and a sea urchin. The framed print is of an actual sea dragon, creatures that look like kelp in the ocean. It by Barb Snyder, a friend and very talented printmaker. She happens to be a marine biologist ~ we both share a love and appreciation for oceanic forms! All the shapes in this vignette are so organic and lyrical, so I like how the strong horizontal lines of both the frame and the book and the deep smoky grey wall color { just looks black in the image } offset this composition. Books, original art, found natural objects that retain the memory of the moment from when they were found, symbols of love and compassion, these are all things I like to surround myself with.

I find textured white ceramics, porcelain and china just so lovely and they always  looks so wonderful in groupings. Above is an image from my boutique Heather Ross [ in house ] where I have much more blanc de chine on display. See how lovely it all is grouped en mass with glass, old architectural fragments and my paintings above. The smaller Kwan Yin stands atop a dragon, another associated motif. Even in the shop certain people are very drawn to the Kwan Yin and gravitate towards her. Objects, symbols and colors resonate with us for different reasons. What is important is to notice which ones make us feel peaceful, grounded, inspired  and to surround ourselves with objects such as these in our homes and lives.  I encourage others to  group together the things they love, working with certain visual commonalities to bring it all together. In the first image for example, common threads of ocean inspirations, tones of white and lyrical forms are all interwoven to create a serene vignette that always enchants me.

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5 thoughts on “a state of grace, a sense of place

  1. heather – what a stunning vignette and beautiful story. you are a true creator! i just adore the kwan yin figures. i cannot wait to see your white collection, as it is my favorite thing…

    i just love that print by your friend barb.

    xo terri

    • Thanks Terri! Yes Barb is talented and a lovely gentle soul too. She sells her prints on Granville Island not far from my boutique. The one I have was a special commission from a series of hers I liked, so delicate & dreamy. Speaking of dreams, I will have to share my Kwan Yin dream with you when you come in. It will give you shivers of the good kind. I met Barb through the shop too, that is one of the best things about having a public space….the people you meet.

      Safe travels to Vancouver, I am touched that I am top of the list for your visit!

  2. Thank you Leslie for your kind words. How exciting about the book, I did not realize there was a signing here but am familiar with the book project. Not sure how long you are in Vancouver, but if you have a moment to stop by my actual gallery/boutique it would be lovely to meet you. It is centrally located in the South Granville area and I think you would enjoy it. I will be there from 11 to 5pm on Thurs, Fri, Sat. Hope you enjoy your travels!

  3. Hi Heather – Elegance and authenticity along with vignettes and dreams- lovely qualities to pursue. And a book in the works! How fun.

    I will be in Vancouver this Thursday. Its a book signing event for Seth Apter’s book the Pulse of Mixed Media. Vancouver is one of my favorite places. So glad I found your blog!

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