Nature's Miracles in Powerful Hands - Artist Marjorie Jordan's "Offerings" Reveal Riches from the Earth

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Artist Marjorie Jordan's "Offerings" portrays a series of nature's miracles -- inspired by Chilean Poet Laureate Pablo Neruda's "Odes to Common Things," her brilliant, bold, life-affirming works are on display at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center until July 14th. "My paintings give voice to the feminine aspect in all things, through the subtle gestures of giving rather than taking, serving rather than demanding, reverence rather than entitlement."

Nature gives unconditionally, ceaselessly, asking for nothing in return. It is our choice whether to appreciate nature's seemingly mundane miracles and regard them as holy-- or not.

Artist Marjorie Jordan's "Offerings" portrays a series of miracles-- from a hot green pepper, shiny and erect in the palms of a woman's pale hands, her fingers tipped red; to a trilogy of vine-ripened, homegrown, red-orange tomatoes, the likes of which we haven't seen in stores for decades. Juicy, plump and real enough to reach out onto the sun-drenched canvas and snatch one from the hands of the woman in the light blue dress, and suspecting, by her gentle posture, that she'd sacrifice willingly-- not one tomato, but all three.

Along with whatever else might be tumbling from her rich garden patch.

Inspired by Chilean Poet Laureate Pablo Neruda's "Odes to Common Things," Marjorie Jordan's brilliant, bold, life-affirming works are on display at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center until July 14th. http://www.marjoriejordan.com

"These works are meant to be offerings perceived through the heart rather than the mind," said Jordan, who began her artistic career as a black and white photographer.

"My paintings give voice to the feminine aspect in all things, through the subtle gestures of giving rather than taking, serving rather than demanding, reverence rather than entitlement."

Awe for Simple Offerings of the Earth

In the series we see people who have worked hard all their lives, but only from the perspective of their sturdy hands cradling shells, fruits, vegetables or brilliant bunches of flowers; offering them to us for inspection or appreciation.

One can sense the reverence with which each object is held-- as though each were the most precious bit of nature ever encountered. A feeling of awe pervades the show-- awe for what is simple.

Raised in several Latin American countries (as her family moved for her engineer father’s work on major construction projects), Jordan chooses to focus on the joyous, animating life force manifest in Latin American culture and likewise found in nature.

"Even under some of the most difficult conditions in the world, in Latin America everything is always displayed or painted brightly-- houses, buildings, buses, markets—in their spontaneous art there is no cynicism, as in our jaded Western art, only joy. Latins view life as a gift and live it with unpretentious, unrestrained gladness. These works make a statement against the bored nihilism often expressed by our 'wealthier' culture." http://www.marjoriejordan.com

The artist, who has loved nature deeply for her lifetime, explains that nature is always life-affirming, and environmentalism is about cherishing and saving, not destroying. Her objective is to help win people over to nature by viewing it as sacred and miraculous.

The show richly displays the smorgasbord of femininity, masculinity, sensuality and sexuality that nature provides. "We don't need to have sex-in-your-face to be symbolic and powerful," said Jordan.

Two photos from which the oils are created were shot in Ecuador-- one a flower of the Annatto tree, the other, a yellow orchid held in weathered brown hands.

"We have that same orchid at the Atlanta Botanical Garden," said Jordan, "but the flowers are rather small. In the mountain rainforest, growing amid moisture-filled clouds, they become quite huge.”

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306, 404-872-5338, Gallery Hours Monday thru Friday 10am-8pm; Saturday 10am-3pm http://www.marjoriejordan.com.

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Patrice Dickey