Tara Sprickerhoff photosArtist Alexa Black’s exhibit Wild Like Moonlight will be on display upstairs at the Station House Gallery until Feb. 24.

Working in the heart of darkness: Artist Alexa Black

New Station House Gallery exhibit Wild like Moonlight beautiful and haunting

Magic. That’s what artist Alexa Black hopes people will take away from her latest exhibit upstairs in the Station House Gallery.

Walking into the room indeed feels like entering another world. The show, Wild Like Moonlight, is haunting, transporting the visitor into Black’s consciousness.

“Consumer culture doesn’t have any magic at all,” said Black. “With the plants and the animals and the magic of all of the things the earth has created and there is so much in it that what I hope is that people remember that they have that too. Everybody has their own innate gift and they should share it.”

blackpress.newsengin.comThe exhibit is filled with art painted on aged windows, or tanned hides, sometimes evocative, sometimes intricate, using feathers or flowers or other bits of the natural world.

The title comes from lyric from the 70s folk song by Vashti Bunyan.

“The moon is known as something that shines light in the darkest places and reveals gifts from dark places in the shadow realm,” said Black, who is inspired by the taro.

Read more: Downstairs Station House exhibit features dancing trees and swirling skies

The exhibit comes after loss and some rough years, said Black. Some she said she painted during particularly dark times in her life, while others are about the reclamation of feminized beings, she said.

When things get ugly, she said, “it brings you to rock bottom and gives you a chance to start over and try to remind the world that there is a chance of living in a different way.”

Her imagery includes women, elders, horses and wildflowers, sometimes skulls.

Black works in mental health and substance abuse, she said.

“I work in the heart of darkness,” she said. “I don’t feel there is shame in that anymore because it is because of the dark things that brought me to right now and I feel like that is how I am sharing my gift.” blackpress.newsengin.com

The canvases Black uses, ranging from rice paper to antlers, are, in her words, fragile yet resilient.

“They’re delicate and I think that symbolizes human life and our consciousness and the way that we are with our environment. Everything is so fragile and so precious and we should treat it as such.”

The windows, on which Black paints many of her images, are also metaphorical.

“A lot of people have [things] they like to hide, and I really hope through these things that everyone else becomes empathetic to everyone else’s’ process,” she said, adding she doesn’t like the back view of the windows.

“The other sides are my layers for what I am creating and it’s messy. The transparency of a window is metaphorical and I’m hoping to convey the human experience in general, not just my own. You can see the process where I started and how many times I screwed up and how that gives rise to the final piece.”

Many of the pieces are about finding herself, she said, and are images of her inner world.

“I want it to be like a dream. Healing. And I think that for the right people it will be. Other people it might not be and I don’t care. Doing this isn’t about getting recognition for it. If anything, it is just a gift from the Creator,” she said.

“The world really needs what your true calling is and your heart, for me its just creating.”

Black’s exhibit will be upstairs at the Station House Gallery until Feb. 24.

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