Beth Surdut Raven Art Exhibition
Says Beth, “Prior to moving to New Mexico,Â I spent the best part of three years canoeing with Florida alligators, earning the nickname “Gator Girl“ and creating a series of luminous paintings on silk called Enigmatic Paradise. Sojourns in the jungles and waters of Hawaii, Indonesia, and the Caribbean enhanced my experiences and design capabilities. Art and writing intertwine my love of creatures and the ironies of humans interacting with them.
More than two years ago, Raven, Bringer of Magic, called me to the high desert to create the art and story of Listening To Raven ~ Drawings, Myths & Realities, an ongoing exploration of science and spirit. These detailed story drawings, created with pen and pencil, heart and mind, are a vision quest expanded by paying attention to small moments.
My intent was to get to know the bird intimately by spending time with the nuances of color, form, stance, personality and stories that fly through time and cultures. Whether at the giant playground of Tent Rocks, the dancing sculptures of the Bisti badlands, or the pungent local dumpster, Raven showed himself to me, even watching me draw every day for three weeks in Florida as I prepared for my move to Santa Fe. The drawings stem from watching, listening, reading and dreaming. I have no pet ravens, nor do I want to domesticate a wild creature. If anything, I sometimes wish I could shape-shift and trade my human form to be able to soar and play as the ravens do. I do put out raw chicken eggs for ravens in my neighborhood and mimic their calls, which I see as akin to learning enough of a foreign language to be polite when I travel.
When I began the Listening To Raven exploration, I had no idea that people would respond by bringing their personal stories of delight and loss, or that humans who had never paid attention to birds would catch my enthusiasm and eagerly present me with Corvid tales.”