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  • OWY's Limitless Project: Mallory Saunders

    Of the artists we've seen so far in the Limitless Project Mallory's is the most yoga focused.  Mallory has divided the art into three sections.  A series of paintings, a series of collages and finally 2 photographs of bead malas.  The vibrant acrylic paint series is featured first.  
    One of the points of yoga and one of the reasons it makes people feel so good is how the physcal postures and breathing exercises activate and work with the subtle energy body.  The subtle energy body is feel-able in all of us - ever had a broken heart that left an ache in the chest?  That's the subtle energy body manifesting in the physical body.  In life we often interact as if the suble energy body is not there, the physical body is so much more obvious and present.  This series flips that idea, these paintings capture the subtle energy body as primary and show the physical body not quite as an after thought, but as a containter or a vehicle for the energy that is our life force and the art's dominant focus.  I love how this series shows an energetic truth:  The physical body is limited, but the subtle energy body extends outward limitlessly. 
       -Shannon Leigh

    Acrylic Paint Series                           

    I create art because art helps me make sense of this world. Intense emotional life experiences on earth can’t always be captured, expressed or even comprehended through words alone. I’ve used art and creativity my whole life to express my emotions and to better understand who I am and what I’m going through. Life is traumatic and beautiful and indescribably weird and Art is a platform I can use to process, develop and express my perspective. 

    Growing up when I wasn’t given the time or space to express or felt that I couldn’t, art was there to assist me in holding space for myself.

    My emotional struggles and traumas deeply impact all of my creative expression. They are the raw authentic dark nourishment from which my roots feed. My awareness creates knowledge of self, light and clarity, clearing stuck energy and transforming it through inspiration and creative action. I have and continue to work through resistance. Judgment and insecurity. Creating to please others, Attachment to the outcome. approval seeking. Wanting to be seen as “good.” comparing myself to others. Negative self talk. Doubt. Lack of self compassion and self love. Fear. All Emotions that have held me captive, that have slowed and prevented me from creating and expressing myself. I became repressed. Unable to communicate my truth. Paralyzed. Traumatized from loss. Trying to comprehend life and death. It has been a process learning how to be persistently holding space for whatever arises. Even when you hate it. Confronting Ego. Expectation. Frustration. Disorganization. The rushed messy Lack of planning. Skipping steps and not making time. Ungrounded. Unstable. Chaos. Lacking structure. Laziness with no direction. immobilized. 

    Art just like Yoga is a self study, developing awareness of the true self through disciplined practice. The discipline is not about the outcome, the finished artwork, the perfect posture, it is about the journey of self discovery, presence through the ups and downs along the way. We develop knowledge of our truth, our core values and beliefs as we shed layers, limits and boundaries letting go of the weight of what is not us and moving deeper inside. Through continuous practice we develop intent, focus, direction and creativity. We become resilient, empowered and proficient. We grow from our struggles and learn from our mistakes. The more intentional and focused I am the more crisp and clear the results. I create to honor the divine. I create to honor myself. Art and creation have helped me to comprehend and understand life in my own way. Seeing the interconnections through a visual representation helps me understand concepts on a different level. I use art to learn and grow. 

    This acrylic painting series I’ve been working on for about 2 years now has been a slow process of evolution. I’ve started these paintings on separate occasions but have progressed into working on them together, several paintings at once, building up layers and refining edges. The series is an attempt at me trying to find a more personal understanding of the deeper philosophies of yoga and exploring their connections with modern science. Subtle energy, the subtle body, Electromagnetism, the Nadis and Chakras/ energy centers, Prana, the Vayus, Balancing feminine Ida Magnetic energy with masculine Pingala Electric energy and drawing Kundalini the creative life force energy up the spine through the Shushumna. Activation of the higher energy centers. Connection to the divine. Enlightenment. What does this all mean to me? What is my own experience? 

    Much like my current teaching it is an intuitive series with a vibrant style that honors the elements. It has been a journey and unfolding of sorts into myself. I have learned through it all, shifting beliefs and perspectives opening my mind and making new connections. When I work on these pieces I feel it affecting my own energy field as well as positively influence the collective energy field. This creative endeavor has honed my senses helping me to focus, sharpen, perceive and remember the more subtle layers of life. It has helped me to shift my focus, bring my attention to neglected areas and break through blockages. If I’ve learned anything through all of my practice and self study it is that INTENTION IS EVERYTHING. Through creating this series It was my intention to honor the divinity in all and to allow spirit to work through me. I became a witness to a visual documentation of my own energy imbalances and density. It has been challenging uncomfortable and interesting to witness the process take place, and I mean process because I have been processing the life experiences, the memories and shedding the emotional weight of whatever arises within me by choosing to holding space, to create and work through it all I releasing the fear and resistance and I grow and evolve. 

    Collage Series

    I consider myself a multi media artist I love exploring different ways of using and looking at materials. Collage was always one of my favorite ways to create as a child and remains something I always come back to. This 3 piece collage series titled Rite of Passage was an artistic exploration of my emotional transition from pregnancy, through childbirth and postpartum into new motherhood. These collages were created on Plexiglas over extended periods collecting little moments, experiences, pieces and scraps of my life during these different phases. 

    Rapid Growth

    The first collage Rapid Growth depicts the range of emotions I experienced after finding out I was pregnant. It was unplanned and I made the decision early on to go through the pregnancy on my own. This piece shows the evaluation of my life and choices. It shows immense frustration and grief as I let go of the life I thought I would have for myself. The uncomfortable, gut wrenching, feeling that your life is being ripped away but also just starting at the same time. Fear. Inadequacy. Excitement. Instability. Chaos. Divinity at Play. 

    Light of my Life

    This second collage Light of my Life The euphoria of birth and bringing new life into the world mixed with a complete identity crisis trying to figure out who I am as a person in this new role as mother. Surrender to the divine. Adjustment. Feeling lost and unimportant. Finding a new Balance. 

    Love the Land

    My third Collage, Love the Land is about grounding and reconnecting to the mother earth through becoming a mother. The feeling of being rooted and stuck. Taking on the softer more gentle role of nurturer and caretaker. Radical self acceptance. Patience. Blossoming into motherhood 

    Japa Malas

    I have also recently began creating affirmation bracelets and Japa Malas which are traditional prayer beads used for mantra. By incorporating a mantra or affirmation into a breathing practice which energizes the intention you can create one pointed focus which calming the nervous system and begins to transform the subconscious mind shifting old beliefs and programs. Mantra Yoga has completely altered my practice into one of more intention and devotion. I use my bracelets everyday to give thanks for and affirm the reality I choose to create. I am grateful for this tool and love to share it with others! I am currently working on some custom orders but more pieces will be available soon at the Open Way Yoga Studio in Huron. 

    Mallory's OWY Schedule

    8:30 - 9:45 AM  Yoga Flow  (Sandusky)
    9:00 - 10:15 AM  Yoga Flow (Huron) 
    5:30 - 6:45 PM  Yoga Flow (Sandusky)
    6:00 - 7:15 PM  OWYoga Flow (Huron)

    Other Limitless Project Posts:
    Keelie Suzann - Painting/drawing
    Brian Henderson - Painting/drawing
    Larry Smith - Poetry
    Kara Myers - Painting/drawing
    Patricia Hecker - Stained Glass
    Shannon Leigh - Poetry
    Erin Percy - Photography
    Andrea Petersen - Fiber Arts