Rmay Rivard (aka) Mary Rivard is a pioneer of generational healing through art and story telling. To visualize a continuum of seven generations, picture yourself at the center point of the infinity symbol with each loop representing seven generations of your lineage. The past to your left and future to the right. All energy flows through you, all healing flows through you affecting each generation. By your actions and thoughts you can change the family story.
Creative expression began in my early childhood and was as intrigal to my being as the development of language. Mediums changed sustaining the flow of unconditional creativity. Through the divergent paths of this process of discovery ‘artistic talents ‘ were simply another way to communicate an experience with my environment.
My epiphany- a high school friend's mother had a homebased art studio and was producing images for a children’s book and getting paid. I had show dogged my talent for praise.
Life expanded and with the explosion of old boundaries, I acquired a portfolio of work which gained me acceptance to MCAD the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I had evolved… accepting first place honors in the sculpture division and the selling of that piece my freshman year. This event show cased the work created by the entire student body and was judged by a panel of Instructors from the College.
It was in my Sophomore year that I began creating ceremonial art. An Instructor graciously informed me that if I was showing the on the west coast, the reception would have been more welcoming. He encouraged me to continue exploring this style. My process was influenced by indigenous cultures seeking ancestral connections. Art that defines ritual, honoring rites of passage.
In my early 20’s I lived in New Orleans where I absorbed the rhythm of a human symphony orchestrated on the streets of the French Quarter. This blend of natives, tourists, transients, indigents and wandering spirits nourished my budding Pagan soul which had been starved on a diet of Catholicism and ridged dogma. I met inspiration everyday as they shape shifted from beautiful transvestites to the scrubby disheveled Bead Lady, to Ruthie the duck lady who roller skated down the cobbles in a dirty frilly retro party dress smelling like she had shit herself. The unnamable spirits of the Hoo-Doo Priestess could raise hairs on any ones neck as they blew by disguised as a rank river wind. Intention was the added ingredient influenced by the Hoo-Doo culture.
The art became more intimate in size and took on a persona liken to that of an effigy or talisman. I had to establish a literacy for this genre of art to give the viewer a workable vocabulary.
The yang to the talismans yin, in respect to subject material and medium, would be the Kitchen Shrines. A series of work recognizing the darker aspects of the female psyche. Addictions, self sabotage, abuse. How are we pawns to the genetic predisposition of our forbearers? With this work I created, then analyzed.
So when I began the Spirit Chair altars I was able to get out of the way and allow the woman’s spirit create the motif. Through this is a process of recovery and discovery an installation of eight chairs honoring seven generations of the matriarchal linage of my eastern European heritage resides in my home studio. ”A Circle Of Life”.