“Wherever you stBeverly Garland in Moab, UTand, be the soul of that place.”

To some, animals are the embodiment of this favorite quote by the poet Rumi. In their wildness, they are unself-conscious and self-possessed. So deeply connected to the great web of life, they accept all experiences without judgment. There is a dignity and sense of belonging they have to their natural surroundings. They convey important messages to us about the wildness and belonging innate in the human spirit.

My art is about the journey to recover your original wild self. You may only faintly remember that self, but that version of you does exist. You started out on this adventure like everyone does. You arrived, pure and bright, into the world that invited you to become concerned about approval, security, appearance, conformity, acquisition, ambition, and industriousness. Over the years, life was increasingly punctuated by a string of personal challenges, dramas, losses, and comparisons, through which you learned to shield your heart. The journey appeared random and meaningless. You began to wonder if your existence was a mistake. Your budding attitudes, tastes, and preferences became geared toward impressing others and earning social approval. You acquiesced and adjusted. You wanted so badly to belong, that you became fully domesticated. We all did.

One fateful day on this journey, you were struck with awe by something and your thinking grew still for just a moment. It might have been a glimpse of a wild animal, gazing at the stars, or entering a quiet forest. In the quiet between thoughts, you realized the heart you were protecting could no longer bear the confinement of safety and domestication. What you didn’t know was that it had been expanded and refined as a result of all the bewilderment and pain you had experienced during your domestication. Your “lost” years were coming to an end and you were ready to be wild again.

Flash forward to today. You are beginning to understand who you really are. You recognize the purpose and the perfection of your journey. You are eager to trade caution and routine for freedom and adventure. You are drawn to realness and authenticity over conformity and approval. You want to belong, wherever you go, just for being you. This artwork is meant to reflect the beauty, dignity, and wildness that live inside you, with the intention that you may feel that wherever you stand, you are the soul of that place.

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