Based in New York City, Daphane Park has exhibited her work internationally for over 10 years.
Park is currently working with paint, performance, and interactive multimedia installation, research and energy medicine. Her inquiries into ancient and indigenous land based cultures as well as her own Native American ancestry has naturally led her to study energy medicine from across the globe, including work in the far interior Amazon, where she lived and studied under two Shaman Dreamers.
Q&A With Daphane Park
What inspired the name “Water Nation”?
Water Nation and the phrase that we use “born into water”, was inspired by a discussion on water by Indigenous Leaders at the UN’s Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. I am very interested and care very much about the future of indigenous nations and land based cultures.
What inspires your art in general?
Nature intelligence, the natural order and living systems, music, movement, biology, cutting edge astronomy, cosmology, yoga and meditation, different cultures perceptions of the universe throughout history, poetry, language, the power of narrative and the power of images.
Was being an artist your dream? Were you artistic as a child?
The practice of making art found me. It is something that I always remember doing and wanting to spend my hours doing. In middle school I do remember consciously choosing to spend more and more time drawing and working on specific creative projects. Then in high school I set up a painting studio in the basement.
How and when did you begin as a professional artist?
When I was at University I had an exhibition at a cafe in Bloomington, IN and I sold a few pieces to a couple who were visiting from Chicago. They were collectors with a focus in contemporary emerging artists. They came to my studio and really loved my paintings. They were very encouraging and supportive. Also, the experience as a Fulbright in Quito Ecuador and living in South America really inspired me in so many ways. Artists are held in high regard in that culture. The people love art and seem to want to understand it and artists. My exhibitions there were attended by a very broad cross section of individuals.
How do you view the world, what is your philosophy?
Everything is connected. My feeling is that everything is constantly evolving, including my personal views and philosophy. At the same time, I am seeking the core that is the stillness, peace and purity within the heart amidst the constant flux.
I am always looking at as many possibilities as I can and attempting to synthesize these very different elements. I look for the connective devices or the similarities between seemingly very different subjects (or world views).
What is your purpose when creating a piece of art?
Honestly, I do not always have a goal in mind when I set out to make things. I try to edit myself out of the process. When too specific of an intent or goal the work becomes didactic. Hopefully what I make inspires others in some way or becomes a kind of healing experience for them. Much of the time I feel that I am reflecting some quality that occurs in nature, which can be seen most easily in the subtle variegation in color and pattern found in my artwork. My wish is that what I make can somehow burn out negativity and promote life force energy and feelings that make others more in love with life.
Do you have any causes that you are active in helping support?
I have been involved peripherally with indigenous issues. This is something that has always resonated with me, possibly due to my own genealogy