Apotheosis of the Corn Goddess                                                                                        Burning Sheaves    48"H x 66"W   Oil on canvas      


                                                                                                                                     Cornfield - Chorale    floorplan   76' diameter     



                                               Chorale    Seven paintings in oil  - 50' diameter semi-circle       w/ polychrome wooden sculpture  Boat    36"H x 36"W x 60"L


Chorale  is a seven panel mural spanning a 50 feet occupying half of the Cornfield  ground.  The full floor design forms a 76 foot diameter circle to be made of painted and incised hardened earth, created in the spirit of the Native American Corn Goddess.  The seven paintings sit atop a wooden architecture of bases and video displays, all meant to sing as one while corralling the viewer's attention in the center of the exhibit. 

Thematically, Chorale  expresses the phases of nature and cultivation, both in growing and harvesting food and the creation of art and ideas.  Moving outward in opposite directions from the center painting,  Apotheosis, there are three paired paintings, beginning with the theme of creative potential (Tractor / Wheelbarrow ), transforming into the theme of sustenance  (Nitya / Garden Electric ), and finally onto dissolution (White Cloud / Yellow Cloud ).  

Another way to look at Chorale is in terms of self-effort and grace, the essential elements of the spiritual journey.  To the right of the centerpiece are images of manual labor and self effort, symbolized by the wheelbarrow and it's tools.  To the left are images of automation and grace, symbolized by a tractor and the rider thereof.  At the outer ends are images of chaos and harmony, complimentary opposites.  Apotheosis  is both the source and culmination of these two directions. 

In the center of Chorale  floats the Boat


The wooden sculpture Boat  was created as a polychrome free-floating ship anchored inside the Chorale space.   With ‘grain silos’ as masts, which are also suggestive of linghams and dock moorings, the deck has been painted with the image of a cornfield.  Boat functions as a multi-dimensional symbol, a layer cake of both masculine and feminine energies - a repository, a silo, a womb, an ark - a ship with it's dock planted firmly within, resting between symbols of expansion and contraction.  The destiny of Boat  is to ‘float’ next to the Dais in the middle of Cornfield.  Just as its anchor also floats, to circle the sculpture is to 'walk on water,' to dance on the sea of Maize. 







                                                                               Apotheosis of the Corn Goddess     84"H x 60"W  oil on linen                                     






                        Tractor    oil on canvas   48"H x 60"W                                                                                                     Wheelbarrow    oil on linen   48"H x 66"W  






            Nitya - Blessing of the Land    oil on canvas   48"H x 66"W                                                              Garden Electric     oil on canvas   48"H x 66"W






 White Cloud    oil on canvas   48"H x 78"W                                                                                                            Yellow Cloud    oil on linen   48"H x 72"W 







Guests viewing the section of Cornfield entitled  Chorale  at a preliminary 'one day only' showing in Petaluma, CA.      







                                                                                                                 All artwork and design  © James Nichols 1976-2022