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Nikki Darling – Temple of the Dawg

August 4, 2016 - August 14, 2016

Opening Thursday Aug 4th, 7:00-9:30pm
On view August 5th-14th, 12-6pm

An exhibition of art therapy works by Nikki Darling, Temple of The Dawg includes 26 works on paper and a video installation.

“There’s a new man, a new love, trying to come into your life. Right now he might be just a whisper, but it is likely that you already know him. This new situation is rooted in reality, the material world, enjoyment of everyday life together (rather than on family legacies, past hurts, anxieties, psychological illnesses, etc). We see this same figure again in your final outcomes, where he will manifest as a real, flesh and blood man, the Knight of Cups. But in order to get this person to fully manifest, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Luckily, it’s fun and beautiful work, so that’s good news. But it will also take time and effort, and it looks like you might have a tendency to be impatient. The cards are asking you to do the work, pay attention, and allow things time to grow. “Stay the course,” might be a good motto for you right now.

So what is the work? Your main objective now should be to overcome your family legacy. Chances are that if you don’t do this work now, you will be confronted with the same situations again and again until you do, and these situations do not look fun at all. In order to begin your new life, which from what you’ve said, you’re already doing (great job!! this is hard work and you are making great progress!), you need to stop running away, stop focusing on what else might be out there, stop turning away from what is right in front of you.” – The Oracle of Los Angeles 2014

“John, the show is something like this: February 18th 2006 I got on a bus at Port Authority headed for Moton Pennsylvania where I would spend a month at the Caron Recovery Center/Rehab, to deal with a decade of drug and alcohol addiction. I was 25. Since I left Caron I have not had an alcoholic beverage. While there I opened myself to the idea of Recovery. The process of trying to lead my best life, one that supported my highest potential and worth and in turn could be of greatest service to myself and others. Recovery became an all encompassing process/motif in which I have tried to live in accordance with my ideals, ethics and faith. A power greater than myself. During this process I have come in contact with therapists, psychiatrists, anti-depressants, exercise, self help books, AA, MA, Ala-non, fallen back into marijuana addiction and the ramifications of that and now, finally, Magic. Each stage of this self discovery process has pushed me deeper into my Hero Journey. I have gone back to college, gotten an MFA and am now starting a dissertation which will culminate in a PhD in Literature. Through this work I have had to let go of shame based coping mechanisms, welcome grief and embrace parts of myself that used to frighten me.

In this last and final leg, Magic, which I encountered in 2014 during a birthday reading with the Oracle of Los Angeles, I have finally gotten the courage to shake off the last vestiges of what has held me back. I am more than just a writer, I am also and have always been an artist.

These water color collages, bricolage, instigated by a romantic break up- the thing I needed to truly step outside my comfort zone and face the frightening unknown- have been instrumental in this final leg of the Hero Journey. Once this show is presented, I will have cycled through this process of grief and growth and emerged as my true self. If it happens in 2016 it quite literally will have been a decade long process starting at 25 and ending at 36. My journey will of course not be over, but I will have shed an old and useless skin and come into my true identity. I am a queer mixed race feminist artist and writer.

Each piece, made using what was available to me, nail polish, computer paper, magazines, old books, staples, was created with the intention of being a gift to a friend, each piece represents a part of this struggle to inhabit this self. Once worked through and processed in the piece, it is intended to be given away with love, transformed. Nothing will be for sale. In this way, the recipients also become a part of the process, they are my community, my support system, and themselves as integral to this process as the creation of the piece itself. A symbol of the healing power of friendship.

I have never presented myself as a visual artist and this fact is one of the main cruxes of the project. I am a performance artist and experimental writer, but in this work I am trying to initiate a dissolving of binaries. A freedom to be who I say am, not just for myself, but others who might also live in fear and shame.” – Email to John pitching this show, 2015

“I guess I seem to be saying that if you were to treat love like work, there would be no way you could be going about it the wrong way. It would be impossible for you not to come to the table full of romance and insight and surprise. If anything, it seems to me to be about building a grounded foundation first, coming at the bare facts of it plainly as soon as you can, expressing what you want in big picture terms, so that you can set up a house, literally and figuratively, where you and the Other can bathe in the formless, timeless, ecstatic waters of life.” – Email from Stuart Krimko about my astrological chart, 2016

“Hey Nikki, Just tried to give you a call, but the phone line was not connected. You still wanna? Let me know.” – The Universe


August 4, 2016
August 14, 2016
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