SEE: Artist Opens Exhibition in Santa Fe Ahead of Massive Land Art Project Planned in Tierra Del Fuego
This past winter, I met the artist David Syre at his Washington farm and studio and was instantly inspired by his story and the directness of his vision. His deceptively simple paintings and drawings seemed to be the work of an artist who was stripping away years of learning in favor of simplified form. The fact that he began painting in earnest less than ten years ago belies his lifelong spiritual and creative quest: the preparation of his mind. Like Zen brush painters, David is painting from a spiritual perspective.
In May, Syre exhibited at Galerie Vendome in Nice, France. The exhibition featured a series of 23 artworks reflecting different stages of his life.
Syre’s second solo exhibition, Soul Maps: The Journey Evolves, opens in Santa Fe this Friday, September 14, at Ellsworth Gallery from 5-8 pm. The exhibition, curated by Ana Palacio, is a collection of paintings, drawings, video and sculpture—on view through September 29—Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.
Syre’s friend, the Santa Fe sculptor Don Kennell, whose giant metal animals are displayed as public art outside of Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe Community Convention Center and most recently, at Burning Man describes Syre’s artwork:
It makes sense that David, who embodies fearless reinvention, would choose Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city where creative exploration reigns supreme, to exhibit his latest work. Syre is drawn to Santa Fe’s quality of light and its spiritual vibration. Several years ago, he spent time at the Monastery Christ in the desert in Abiquiu and describes the experience as “transformational.” After Santa Fe, David will exhibit this November in Buenos Aires, Argentina—a country with whom he has had an over 20-year relationship.
Argentina is also the site of Syre’s monumental land art project, The Peace Trail. The Peace Trail will cut through the former homelands of the Ona (Selk’nam), one of three indigenous Fuegians tribes of Tierra del Fuego, who were all but exterminated between 1880 and 1905 by colonization and internal feuding. “I am hoping to get several hundred acres, if I can find the place I have seen before, to honor the Ona people,”says David. “These people represent the end of all homo sapien movement on earth. It ended on this trail. It is such a profound energy.”
Sculptures will be installed every 9 kilometers along the trail. Each of the stations will have an infrastructure: a facility, restrooms, wood and survival equipment—and will follow the theme, ‘We Are One.’ I want people to understand that we are all one and maybe we can quit picking on one another and fighting with each other,” says David. The installations along the 150-mile Peace Trail communicate the artist’s three core messages: love, forgiveness and compassion. The trail will wind across a narrow tip of land at the end of Argentina, where visitors will be able to walk a path from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
I asked David if he considers the Peace Trail a legacy project and his answer provides insight into his character. “The Peace Trail is the beginning, I am just getting started,” he says.
Check out this short video about The Peace Trail in Tierra del Fuego.
IF YOU GO:
Who: Artist David Syre
When: Exhibition Opening, Friday, September 14 from 5 to 8 pm.
Where: Ellsworth Gallery, 215 E Palace Avenue. Santa Fe, NM 87501.
Ongoing: Soul Maps: The Journey Evolves on view at Ellsworth Gallery from September 14 through September 29—Wednesday through Sunday; 11am to 6pm.
The Peace Trail: For additional information about The Peace Trail Project: http://www.davidsyreart.com/the-peace-trail