site by dlk
Alexa Kleinbard

Video of the exhibition
in the Ogden Museum
of Southern Art




These paintings represent my continuing interest in folk medicines and lore about the healing powers of plants. Each painting is shaped from a specific plant or plants. Some have a visually parted middle section where one parts the curtains of the plants outer skin to reveal painted scenes from the natural world that remind the viewer what can be lost if mankind does not reduce his unbridled consumption of our natural environment. The paintings are intended to create a spiritual quietness asking that we slow down and listen to our inner whispers to heal ourselves mentally as well as physically through the power of nature. The roots suggest movement and connection to all living beings.

Arnica is used in homeopathy to reduce pain and bruising, and especially has been helpful to reduce bleeding and swelling from tooth extraction. Another name for Comfrey is knit bone. Poultices have been used to help heal broken bones. Bloodroot, a beautiful spring wildflower, whose name comes from the sap in its dark red roots, was used as dye by the Native Americans. They also made it into cough syrup and it has been claimed to reduce cancers. Clary is used in fragrances and is said to bring sweet dreams. In Native lore Mayapple and Senna are thought to cleanse the digestive track. Senna leaf is made into a tea to help loosen the bowels. Milk Thistle has been used by herbalists to help sooth the liver. Foxglove is important in modern medicine as digitalis to help the heart muscle work properly. Flax is a natural oil whose seed, and oil are consumed as an omega 3 fatty acid. We could not live without plants. They give us life, breath, and lead us back through their healing powers to a better place.