Not long ago I had the whole-body urge to locate an artist whose profile I'd read years ago in a magazine that's regional to Asheville and Western North Carolina — WNC Woman. The magazine, founded by Julie Parker, had featured my Honoring Your Belly article in its first issue. It's been a strong force for women's writing, art and entrepreneurship ever since.
But I no longer remembered the woman's name. I did remember that Julie had described her as painting from her hara — the Japanese word for both belly and the source energy concentrated within the body's center.
Searching on [wncwoman + hara], I found Julie's interview with Joyce Metayer. The April 2004 profile begins:
Joyce Metayer stands in front of and facing her work, feet planted firmly and powerfully on the earth, hands on her hara, as she explains how she births her work — how her inner vision emerges into three dimensions. Literally three dimensions, for these pieces are intricately-constructed canvases of mind-boggling complexity. She explains how she projects her sketch for a piece onto the wall to determine its appropriate size, then moves forward and back until the size is just so — until she literally feels it in her hara. This visceral connection to her work is so strong it seems almost visible ... a cord from womb to work, as it were.
I surprised Joyce with a phone call and had the pleasure of speaking with her. Our conversation included this exchange:
LS: How did you develop this process?
JM: I didn't. It found me.
LS: How do the images arrive? How do they enter your awareness?
JM: I see the image as a holograph, a shape in three dimensions. Then the color plan comes to me as a bodily sensation.
With Joyce's permission, here are three images of her work. For titles and larger versions of these images, plus additional images and more information on each piece, click here.