February 8 – March 23, 3013
The question of how we get home has always been of interest to Rodgers and is the inspiration behind A Slow Journey Home. When asked where she is from, Mercedes says “I never know how to answer that question. I am from many places, I was born in Kansas, and moved around a lot in my early years. I have lived in different towns and cities from Belize to New York. I currently live in Fort Walton Beach, FL.” This collection reflects her transient lifestyle and search for a home. It is a pilgrimage of the soul. In many of the pieces Mercedes transforms the snail’s shell into a house, each slightly different than the other. Expressing the individuality of all beings. The houses are a metaphor for the facade people choose to show the outside world. While inside each there is a soft vulnerable being, moving ever so slowly with their ego in tow. In her own words Rodgers says, “The snail represents the slow steady progress of a soul as it travels through life. I was thinking about the ego and the ego’s baggage, what we choose to carry from place to place and what we choose to leave behind in our constant search for a peaceful place to call home.”
Using vibrant colors, spirited forms, and working in two-dimensional and three-dimensional mediums, the soulful snails of A Slow Journey Home are brought to life in a most unique way. Created with a combination of hand-built and wheel thrown techniques, the clay snails are like something that could leap from the pages of a fairytale. The watercolor pieces are painted with a resist technique that allows Mercedes to paint the background first, using a wet on wet wash to produce an atmospheric effect. When that is dry she returns to add the characters. The paintings and sculptures have small details in common that create an extraordinary level of depth that is contrasted with simple backgrounds. The tranquil landscapes will inspire audiences to take their own slow journey home.