All Articles by Lynn Dwyer

Mixed Media Artist, out in the world, creating, teaching and sharing

65 Articles

Epona’s Ride

Filled with Symbolism, this piece represents the Celtic Goddess Epona, on her white horse/carriage ride home.  Her clothing has absorbed each of her flowing chakral energy colors.  She holds the vessel of the universe on her lap.  Spirit (crow) stays close to her, and the sun represents her light, and ability to befriend all the people she encounter.  She passes through the Blue Ridge Mountains (my home).

 

Epona was a Celtic goddess. Her name contains an allusion to the horse: in Celtic, “epos” means “horse” and the suffix “-ona” affixed simply means “on”.  Epona is the patron goddess of mares and foals.  Carried by a horse, she can act as a funerary symbol: on some steles, it is clear that she evokes the journey of the soul to the underworld (the representation of a woman to symbolize the soul of the deceased is consistent with folklore of ancient religions).  In another type of representation, the goddess is surrounded by horses (which she sometimes feeds). There is yet another way to represent Epona: she may be lying on a horse, half-naked (as found in Allerey, Burgundy). Her attributes are usually the cornucopia or peg. She is sometimes accompanied by a dog and is sometimes accompanied by gods, goddesses or spirits.

The protector of horses, mules, and cavalry, Epona was one of the only non-Roman goddesses to have been wholly adopted by the Roman Empire.  Often depicted astride a horse, Epona resonated in the forces of the Roman cavalry as an inspiration and guide through even the darkest of battles, and she remained one of their most worshipped goddesses between the first and third centuries AD.

Interestingly, Epona was also seen as a goddess of fertility, accompanied in many of her depictions by grain or a cornucopia. Coupled with the worship of her equine prowess in the military, it is evident she was seen both in Gaulish and Roman cultures as a deity of prosperity within the equestrian home and on the battlefield.

It has also been argued that Epona served as an escort for souls into the afterlife. The presence of a statue of Epona in her horse form was found in the grave of a young girl who died in the 2nd century and seems to support this notion. That burial was discovered in Godmanchester (Roman Durovigutum), in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, England.

Originally from Gaul, Epona was worshipped in Britain throughout the Iron Age, coming to the continent during the time of the Romans. As far as modern scholarship can tell, her worship extended as far north as the Strathclyde Region in Scotland, with depictions of her found on the Roman wall forts of Hadrian and Antonine, but her veneration stretched no further than the farthest reach of the Empire.  There is no evidence of Epona in the Near East – an understandable lack, as the Romans were never able to conquer or occupy the Persian Empire. It is unknown from where, exactly, Epona originated but she was prevalent throughout the tribes of the Celts and quickly became widespread throughout the Empire as well.

Epona made her way to Rome through the aid of the Roman military. The Roman cavalry was formed of foreign auxiliaries from groups and tribes conquered by the Empire.  Though many of these men were not citizens, citizenship could be attained after a certain number of years in the military, which meant that the Roman forces were exposed to foreign religions quite often and for long periods of time.  Even though Gauls were not one of the prominent groups in the cavalry, Epona was introduced to this amalgamation of men during their time fighting in Gaul. With so many men from so many different cultures gathered together with such a prestigious equestrian duty to perform, it is natural that they would desire their own religious spirit or guide. Upon discovering her impression in Gaul, Epona became the perfect choice.

When your Solar Plexus is a Solar System

This is a fun piece. The Goddess Morrigan,  a celtic mythological warrior, great Queen.   She was closely connected to Epona, who shows up in another piece.

She has a crow for hair, and her solar plexus is wide open, and inside is one (of what I’m sure is infinite solar systems). I made sure to put a spiral in there to keep that energy moving. She sits on distressed wood and has a transparent shear dress on, allowing you to see her body.   She represents Fate, Shape Shifting, Protector of the land, and it’s clans.  She dates back to the copper age.

About Me

Hi,  I’m Lynn Marie Dwyer, and I am a mixed-media artist working primarily in clay.

I love to capture motion in my art – I love a variety of perspectives… texture: metal with clay contrasting the strong with the fragile – alternative-firing processes creating new effects…. I’m always trying something different. I specialize in handbuilt sculpture.  I rarely make the same thing twice.

Creating is a spiritual part of my life;  art to me is very revealing. When I create, I am completely in it. I lose time. And through my life have learned so much from observing my own work after making it.  And being the seeker that I am, I love getting those balanced perspectives.

Former Executive Director:
Gilmer Arts & Heritage Association, Ellijay GA

Former Resident Clay Artist:
Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Center, Blue Ridge GA

Current Art Director:
Heartwood Health, Art & Yoga Retreat Center, Blue Ridge GA

Awarded the Fannin County 2009 Grassroots Grant- working with a disabled adult population in rural North Georgia at the Mineral Springs Center.


My work is collected internationally and throughout the United States.

 

Want a Custom Piece? Need to Ask Me A Question?  I love sharing ideas! No Worries!  This will come straight to my email…

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Rv Tiny Home Project

So Wow. I put it on my vision board and here it is.  And it’s wicked sweet.  The folks who had this took such great care of it, so everything I do is mainly going to be just updating it and making it efficient enough to live in.  A challenge.  I know it.  For the last couple years, I’ve been moving around a bit.  And a lot like my trip to Ireland, where every hostel i stayed at I was leaving gear behind so I didn’t have the weight.  It’s the same with moving.  With every move I lost so much more stuff.  So now, I am down to clothes, and precious items.  And those things we consider “necessary.”  Oh, and an entire studio of material and tools.   I understand when I decide to take this plunge and live in my rv tiny home, I will have to have a place to create and fire, so I hope that works itself out 🙂  So my plan (as of right now) is to fix her up and get her ready to live in by Fall.

It’s a 1977 Maple Leaf 17 ft. camper.  I’m about to have some fun with this little girl.   Here are some photos of what she looks like inside.

The Exquisite Risk

After reading my friend’s post on Facebook today about a book that changed her life, I was reminded about a book that changed mine.  It inspired me to write about it.

About nine years ago, I was about to turn forty, and I was riddled DSCN1498with fear about dying.  I had this idea most of my life that I was not going to live past the age of 40.  I never saw myself living past that time.  I’m not sure where this came from, but I had it since childhood. I remember a close friend saying that I may have sensed a “symbolic” death for myself and that it may not have been a literal death.  This did bring some hope, but I was so convinced that this was my truth, I became so afraid of dying so young; leaving my daughters without me.

I decided I would take a trip for my fortieth birthday, just in case something happened I may have been able to get in this dream trip in this lifetime. You know, go out in style.

DSCN1409It took me so much work to prepare for this trip.  Not only financially, but physically, as I decided I would take my bike to Ireland to tour the country with nothing more than a map of the countryside and a list of cheap hostels. Part of the reason I decided to take my bike was I was too afraid to drive over there.  I thought for sure I would go off some cliff, and driving on the otherDSCN1518 side of the road was simply terrifying to me.  I don’t know why I thought the bike would be so much easier.  HA!  What a joke.  Sometimes I question my judgement ( A LOT)

1047381I had come across a book a few months prior to leaving called “The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live and Authentic Life”, by Mark Nepo.  The writer was a poet.  His writing was like magic being delivered to my soul.  Every word seemed to speak to me, and I read the whole book on the plane to Ireland.  I have often picked up this book to read it again through the years, as it seems to apply to everything.

So a bit about me … I tend to be a fearful one.  Someone that gets stuck and afraid to make a move.  I totally found this book to be the wind that got my fire flaming.

I swallowed my fear. I got on the plane. I went alone with my bike. I DSCN1410assembled it in the airport, had loaded panniers, a backpack and a front pack, jumped on, got on the wrong side of the road and I took off.   I swear my heart was jumping around in my chest the entire trip.  I was nervous about getting hit by a car on the narrow roads.  People drove fast, and driving after drinking was pretty common here.   I was not a skilled bike rider by any means, so I was going quite slow.  Slow and steady.  I didn’t judge myself.  I didn’t care if I had to walk it.  I didn’t care if I didn’t make a goal, because I didn’t set any.  I decided I would allow this trip to be whatever it was going to be.  Get to wherever, whenever.  See whatever, meet whoever, eat DSCN1682whatever.  No expectations.  This took an incredible weight off me.  I allowed myself to talk to strangers.  I had intimate conversations with people.  I experienced different foods.  I experienced pain in my body like I had never felt before.  I pushed myself beyond my normal limits.  I was daring to live an Authentic Life. I was being me.  I was taking an Exquisite Risk.  ME. I was doing it.

This trip was planned around my 40th birthday, so I wondered for most of it If I would die on this trip, like I knew I was supposed to.  I wondered how I would die.  Would I get hit by a car?  The first time I road my bike as a little girl, I proudly was showing my father that I finally got it, I rode up the street and I got hit by a car.  The neighbor up the road was backing out, didn’t see me, and ran over me.  Was I going to die the same way? On a bike?  Was I going to jump off a cliff?DSCN1598  This sounds bizarre, I know. but for whatever reason, when I get to the edge of cliffs, I always have this sense of jumping.  I remember hearing Katie Couric say the same thing once and I remember feeling like there was actually somebody else that felt this way. It’s like the ocean calls me – the wind calls me, the cliff draws you in.  It’s freaky I know.  But I did wonder about it.  And I did fight the urge to DSCN1601not free-fall.

I rode, and I read my book when I would dine.  I would write. I journaled and wrote and thought and collected.  I slowly broke myself down.  I had so many amazing encounters and experiences while doing this trip.  I remember when I left I didn’t even feel like the same person.  My friend was right after all.  I did die.  The old me was now dead.  I was now 40, and I was completely different. And I was still alive.  More alive than I had been in a long time.  I felt every cell pulsing in my body.DSCN1673

I was a woman who ran with the wolves. I was a woman that actually did something I never thought I would do.

Since that time, I have jumped into my life.  I have quit the tedious office work I was chained to for so many years. I became an artist, a carpenter, and a woman who was taking chances.  I admit, I still have fear when I take these chances, but I don’t let the fear take over and keep me still or paralyzed.  With this trip I lost not only weight, but the burdens I was carrying around keeping me down; keeping me heavy; keeping me fearful and afraid to live. I am also no longer, afraid to die.DSCN1649

 

 

 

don’t be such a cry baby

DSCN1599Oh Lord everything is making me cry these days.  I would tell you it’s the movies I’m watching, but that wouldn’t be the truth.  It’s more likely pre-menopausal crap that I have no control over without taking some kind of hormone replacement, or worse.  I ride the wave, I let it flow.  Maybe I haven’t let things out most of my life.  Maybe I haven’t cried all that much.  Maybe it’s all built up inside and has no place to go.  Am I sad? NO!  I’ve accepted the changes life has brought me, and I think I am moving through phases pretty good.  Maybe I had to go through all those things in order to get somewhere else.  Maybe foreclosure and the elimination of material things that I used to put so much emphasis on, was more of an Awakening.  Maybe part of this Awakening is the let go of not only things, but tears.  Tears for my mom who died last year and the relationship I wanted, but never got. Tears for my home that I raised my beautiful daughters in. Tears for my divorce. Tears for the lack of relationship with my brother. Tears for my pets that slowly left this place.  Tears for my girls growing up and moving onward and upward.  Tears for Phyllis and her dementia and my lack of power to help. Maybe tears aren’t so bad.  I still probably prefer to show them in private with my animals, while watching touching movies though.IMG_0172

Tears are the Prisms into my past. The past that made me ThIS.  That girl that plays with dirt.  Dirt that makes you smile, not cry.

Can you come out and play?

it’s a funny thing, when I post pics of me working, typically at a kitchen table, while all kinds of things are being created, bags of clay IMG_3660everywhere, tools thrown about, a real mess; the most common response i get is “I want to come play!”. I’ve heard this for years.  It makes me laugh a little because of the word “play”.  Am I playing?  It shoots me back to a memory I had visiting my Aunt Maureen for the first time in years, in Boston, with my cousins and my little daughter Lainey about seven years ago.  I had been gone a long time, so it was somewhat surreal being back among family again, and I was nervous about it.  My aunt Maureen was always the strict aunt, and memories of her brushing my hair so hard my scalp would bleed came rushing back like a slap.  We entered her impeccable home in IMG_1285Brighton, and as we sat down to dinner she said, “so what do you do?”.  I proceeded to explain I was an artist, and I worked with clay.   At which point, I got cut off, and she said, “so basically, you play with dirt? You mean like you did when you were a kid?”, she said this while she made a face, and maybe I detected a snuff that came out when she spoke.  My cousin shot her a glare and apologized to me with her eyes.  My little daughter jumped up and said, “she has a website!”, even knowing at this young age that I was being insulted and was trying to make me more legitimate.  I quickly changed the subject.   I bet she never did art in her life.  I wonder if she played.  Did she forget how?

Since then, when I hear, I want to come play when I post my work, or hear ‘you’re always playing with clay’, I do this tiny step back.  Am I playing?  Am I trying to pay bills? Am I working? Am I creating something from a deeper place within me that longs to play? I mean, my work is whimsical.  It is meant to make people smile, even laugh on occasion, so what’s the big freaking deal about the word “play”?  There was a time when I lived to hear, do you IMG_1114want to come out and play?  Maybe I need to find that little girl again, and just go out and play.  Nourish my human spirit. Things we forget to do, the simplest things. Play.  I guess I’m lucky that I get to “Play” every day!  I hope everybody else out there gets to play every day.  And better even, get paid for it.  Cheers to Playing!  (and working doing what you love)

Clay “Paper” dolls

I used to spend hours with paper dolls.  changing outfits on flat, lifeless doll shapes… They seem silly, but there is something real creative about them.  These are a ceramic version of those flat dolls.  They are colorful and fun, hang from white cotton cord, ready for a window, a wall or a mobile.  Their arms and legs are wired on separately to give them a real puppet feel.  I think these are perfect for a little girl’s room window 🙂

 

Tribal Energy

DSCN3082This piece is pretty different. I got my hands on a great piece of wood with a really interesting shape. I set a mask made from several handbuilt clay pieces on the face of it. I then added very unique “hair” using glass beads and the coolest rocks I found on the beach in Jacksonville Florida. The rocks are unlike any I have ever seen before and have incredible character. these rocks all have natural holes in them, which I remember calling hag stones back in the day. This piece is fairly large, and hangs on a wall. You’ll never find another like it. Has a real tribal feel to it. Not sure which gallery it’s going to yet! DSCN3079

Fingerprint Trees

these are silly, I admit, but they are totally fun!  These are perfect for a small space. They hang on the wall, and bring your love of trees inside. Set on oak barnwood as the tree trunks, these trees are simple silly and fun 🙂  You can find these trees at Jumping Mouse Beads downtown Blue Ridge for $30.00 each. They range in size from 24 inches tall to 36 inches tall.  Affordable art, just for you 🙂