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Monte Alban, Zapotec pyramid, Oaxaca, Mexico

Although I was originally drawn to neolithic sacred places in Old Europe for their feminine energy, I now find myself living in Mexico – a rich landscape of pyramids and archeological sites. The ancient cultures, including the Zapotecas, Aztecs, Mixtas and Mayans, seemed to have been male-dominated societies, yet Madre Tierra (Mother Earth) was also revered in various forms such as Coatlicue, as well as the four elements in nature: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Visiting these sites, I focus on the glyphs carved and painted on the pyramid walls wondering how they will find their way into my work. I find a place away from the crowd to commune with the spirits, do a silent meditation or yoga.

Glyps from Monte Alban:

stone glyphs sm

Outside of Oaxaca lies Monte Albán, an ancient Zapotec site with an impressive complex of pyramids and an expansive view of the countryside. Here I felt a sense of spirit, a sense of place. I was entranced by the multitude of stone monuments inscribed with figures and symbols, a hidden language whose forms intrigued me.  Back in the studio, I found myself mixing and matching the vertical stacks of glyphs, circles, dots and wavy lines, and then pairing them with more feminine symbols such as the vesica piscis and the spiral. Perhaps it was my little cosmic joke to balance the yin to the yang, and thus provide a completeness and wholeness to these ancient images.

Glyphs from Monte Alban resulted in a series of Monotype prints, one of a kind images created by painting with ink on acrylic plate, then running it through an etching press to transfer it to paper. Many layers of ink, rolled on with a brayer, brush or fingers build up a rich surface.  The prints in the gallery below are all 30″ x 22″

I offer a Oaxaca Art Vacation to artists (advanced to beginners) where we visit the pyramids, local artesans, do a hand-made paper workshop in Etla, and a 5 day monotype printmaking workshop. Visit my website for more information: www.glenrogersart.com

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