just arts for sustained resistance and liberation
My paintings have a duality that I have come to appreciate and utilize. One one hand my artistic expressions are cultivated spiritual practices that bring messages through from what some might call a muse, ancestor, or guardian spirit. Those messages are frequently not just for me but can benefit and deeply touch the heart of others. In that sense, I feel that I am painting medicine, and I use intention, care, and affirm positive shifts knowing the single stroke of my brush can realign the universe. On the other hand, my paintings have also functioned as systems of divination. I have learned things about myself when I stepped back and witnessed the image. For example, when my life was busy and chaotic, I was creating paintings that were vibrant but every bit of space was consumed with shapes and paint. I learned by observing my artwork, how to make space in my life. I learned from my paintings how to heal my heart. I create in my own image so most of my art features healthy Black women of substance and great potency.
In my work as a gardener and urban farmer, I map watersheds and assess the angles of the sun and design systems for growing food. My goal is to make closed loop systems, reduce waste, and also consider the cultures, and peoples within those systems so they are sustainable at all points. This idea of making regenerative systems has impacted my work as an educator and an artist. Regenerative designs are restorative biomimetic blueprints with the goal to regenerate rather than deteriorate and are often informed by the living connections in thriving ecosystems, like patterns evident in a beehive, seashell, or a deeply rooted willow tree. I define regenerative arts as creative expressions that vitalize, connect, and restore.
The narrative painting style of Mandisa Amber, M.A., M.F.A. features powerful women as icons for the liberation of both people and the earth. The painting process is done in a sacred container, where the images that appear on the canvas carry a specific healing message for the collector, community member, or friend who may feel a connection to the piece. Mandisa is initiated in the Lucumí Orisha tradition. She is an Intuitive Creativity Coach, certified in Shiloh McCloud's Color of Woman Painting Method.
Recent Exhibits: (2016). Ancient Memory: Painting Medicine, Receiving Wisdom...Beneath Her Sacred Skirts. El Comalito. Vallejo, CA.
To egress is to emerge, be seen, or come to the surface. Just as water will egress from behind two rocks, and flow forth unrestrained and unobstructed, the images in this series are here to cleanse, refresh, and rejuvenate the heart. Ancient Memory commemorates a nine-year spiritual journey inward, which the artist, Mandisa Amber describes as hanging out beneath the skirts of the village grandmother. The artist uses deep inquiry for the retrieval of medicine and shares these images with her community in order to reweave a new origin story where marginalized people preserve their ancient rituals, knowledge, and autonomy. A sacred exploration through paint, Ancient Memory features vibrant and powerful icons of the divine feminine. Come community, join Mandisa Amber, and taste liberation as the healing images awaken the wisdom in your blood and bones.
Memoria Antigua: Pintar Como Medicina, Recibir Sabiduria...Debajo De Su Sagradas Faldas.
Emerger significa, ser visto, o salir a la superficie. Del mismo modo que el agua emerge detrás de dos rocas, y fluye sin restricciones y sin obstáculos, las imágenes de esta serie están aquí para limpiar, refrescar y rejuvenecer el corazón. Memoria antigua conmemora un viaje espiritual hacia el interior de nueve años, que la artista, Mandisa Amber describe como “colgando debajo de las faldas de la abuela del pueblo”. La artista usa profunda investigación para la recuperación de la medicina y comparte estas imágenes con su comunidad con el fin de volver a tejer una nueva historia de origen, donde la gente marginada conserva sus antiguos rituales, el conocimiento y la autonomía. Una exploración sagrada a través de la pintura, la memoria antigua cuenta con iconos vibrantes y de gran alcance de la divinidad femenina. Bienvenidos comunidad, unámonos con Mandisa Amber, y probemos el sabor de la liberación que las imágenes de curación despertará la sabiduría en nuestra sangre y huesos.