Finding Gill Rippingale’s work was a moment of recognition. Hers is sacred art. For years we lived in Jalisco. The Huichol people would come down from the cloud forest to sell their art. I remember seeing the bright beaded embodiment of the Great Mother. From every part of her being animals emerged: deer, snakes, spiders, coyotes, rabbits. Once, at the entrance to church a Huichol man, before he returned home, was selling a large amate he had painted which had won a prize at a competition held in the city. It was a painting on bark of a great, stylised, orange deer.
I saw the same vision of the Huichol in Gill Rippingale’s own orange fox, though Gill’s paintings are often tiny enough to enclose in the palm of your hand. All of her paintings should be examined closely in order to appreciate the magisterial detail. More recently, Gill has been drawing small figures on wood in fire. There is something that lies behind Gill Rippingale’s drawn and painted lines. Perhaps, like me, you too can sense the wonder, love and magic.
Forest of dreams is the name I give to the mythic realm in my artwork. It is a realm in which I wander when seeking creative inspiration. Where I may meet with animals in a slightly different form to those in the ‘real’ world and sometimes listen to their stories. These animals are of spirit form and are, like the realm in which they exist, real at some level.
The forest of dreams is always accessible to me as it exists apart from time and space. I carry it wherever I go…indeed, a small part of me is present there at all times…in meditation with Tashi, running with Fox Linden, and resting with The White Hare in the innermost sacred grove.
The beautiful line arising, plays across the page
Crystallized in time – in service to the unseen
Paper, pigment, muse, bring joy and terror, death
and deliverance with every stroke.Gill Rippingale
Gracious Spirit and Lord of the Forest,
Wise Protector, swift and strong Forest Dancer
Through thy grace, beauty and Compassion
may we be healed … made whole and One with Life
Reveal to us the hidden pathways
and let us follow in thy tracks, leading us onwards …
from darkness into Light.
And may we be filled with the peaceful, silent beauty of our own
True Forest Home.
May the Blessings of the Forest ever be with us
and may all the creatures of the world abide in Peace.Gill Rippingale
I utterly need Green around me! I am experiencing a kind of lack of it at the moment, as I moved to the seaside. The sea is wonderful, but I am hankering after Forest… I’ve never been really drawn to deserts, although my eldest son really wants to experience a desert, but he wants to go to the Atacama.