Ruda en la tierra | painting fragment

A seed by: Mon Iker
Project: Calling our Ancestors Home
Mon Iker (they/she) is a transdisciplinary artist working across the fields of arts-activism and clinical herbalism. By engaging the intersection of social and environmental justice through art and the healing exchange, they aim to create work that bridges visual culture and social practice. They see the invocation of herbal medicine as facilitation of reconnection to self, others, and nature as radical resistance to a toxic modern societal, economic, and political paradigm. Mon’s recovery from complex chronic illness, disability, and severe toxic exposure allying with plants and fungi informs their practice. They use a holistic, inclusive, and eclectic lens referencing various traditional healing philosophies and languages, both of ancestral and international origin. Their visual arts practice spans a variety of media, including arts-activism intervention, performance, street art, illustration, photography, short film, and animation. They are inspired by all of their human and non-human teachers, dad jokes, and their curandera great grandmother. Born in San Antonio, Mon currently practices between Texas and New York.


Visual Arts, Interdisciplinary Arts, Arts for Social Change, Film/Video, Storytelling, Poetry, Design (Graphic or Spatial), Photography
This is an original seed

Seed Images --Click on the thumbnail to enlarge

My maternal great grandmother Reymunda grew rue in her garden and allied with this powerful plant for limpias. I bought a small plant about one year ago, and due to my displacement from a stable home, it stayed in a small pot. As part of my work, I am starting a garden where I am currently staying with family this spring, regardless of whether or not I will stay here long term. I do this in honor of Reymunda, my mother, my self, and as a meditative practice on grounding in perpetual change. By planting rue in the ground, I see her flourish, giving thanks for connection and the room to grow, with her roots no longer stifled by the constraints of the pot. I am taught that grounding is possible anywhere and at any time. What are the self-limiting beliefs that prevent me from disassociating well-being from the constant? Life and death are one in the same; this form is temporary. Do I choose to carry my spirit in a pot too small and slowly wither? Or do I ground where I am one moment at a time and prosper?

This is part of a painting I am continuing to work on that combine several experiences of mine since this past Jan 2023 when I first started to connect with my ancestor. Other elements will include imagery related to the natural elements, Virgen de Guadalupe, the 6th Sun, the monarch caterpillar and other aspects of my tonalli (Aztec reading of my birthday).

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