Exhibitions - Exaltation Intangible Journeys of the Human Spirit: Nikola Wojewoda


EXALTATION Intangible Journeys of the Human Spirit

“The individual must learn to live by his or her own myth” Joseph Campell

I`m drawn to stories, to the symbols and metaphors where `layered meaning` lies. I am inspired by myths, legends and folklore from around the world; a rich source from which to explore the human condition. In these stories I find psychological, spiritual and social dimensions expressed in poetic form. Archetypes are my starting point. I integrate, manipulate, and reinterpret these universal symbols in order to create personal imagery that examines spiritual, political and cultural ideas.
I invite the viewer to consider their own interpretation, to add their own layer of meaning.
I have long been fascinated by the phenomenon of ‘altered states of consciousness’ and the relationship to self-awareness, creativity, and healing. What do Saints and Shamans actually experience in religious ecstasy or ritual trance? Why are we compelled to seek out the sacred? How does this need express itself in modern society? These artworks are focal points for meditations on these questions.
The exhibition combines three related series in collage, sculpture, and ceramics.
The Dharma Queens
The collages are icons, fictional female Shamans. Each figure represents a psychological trait that limits our ability to be fully conscious and self-aware. Each has transcended the limitation she embodies, and is haloed in the global tradition of an enlightened person.

The Spirit Jars
Each sculpture is a ‘Spirit Ally’ that corresponds to a Queen – their symbolism is linked. They are vessels, capable of holding what needs to be protected, or containing that which needs to be subdued.

The Herbarium of Hallucinogens
The ceramic illustrations are of psychoactive plants from around the globe. Their culturally sanctioned ritual use can produce insights into the nature of reality. They are revered for their power to transport the mind into other forms of consciousness.