7 August 2014, 6-8pm
August 7 - August 24

Kick Gallery
4 Peel Street,

Introduction -
Jewels Stevens - Songs of the plants

7 August 2014, 6-8pm (August 7 - August 24)
Kick Gallery 4 Peel Street Collingwood

Songs of the Plants is an exhibition of new work by Melbourne based artist Jewels Stevens inspired by a journey, both literal and spiritual, to the steamy Upper Amazon Basin of Peru in early 2014. For several weeks Stevens lived in a remote native Indian community working with plant medicines carefully administrated by Shipibo shamans. Entrusting her guides Stevens cast off her preconceptions and assumptions of the way in which the world works and explored new ways of understanding life, the world around us, and the inner realms that the plants allow access to. As a part of the ritual that accompanies this age old shamanic tradition her Shipibo shaman teachers sang to her to calm her mind and body as she went through these intense transcendental experiences. As Stevens herself describes, these songs – or Icaros – were unlike anything she had heard before and their effect profound in allowing her to push through the physical, mental and emotional transformation she underwent brought on in these sacred ceremonies.“I had never heard such beautiful and yet alien sounds, they were so unique and organic – otherworldly.”

As an artist Stevens has always sought a clarity of vision in her work and through the effect of these plant medicines and the sound of these Icaros she has discovered a clearer reality, a sense of harmony and has tapped in to her unique pattern that the shamans helped to align. Amidst the abundance of life in the rain forests of Peru this new perception of far more abstract concepts and constructs than our western learning teaches us has been transposed, Stevens has shifted her centre and grasped new ways of being that she freely shares in anecdote and in her art.

As with in her 2010 exhibition Jewels of the North that was based on her observations of the landscape of Iceland and the phenomenon of the Northern Lights during a residency in Reykjavik, Stevens continues to draw influence from a multiplicity of sources from across the globe as well as from within.