Art as a catharsis
Mo E. Willis is a self-taught artist raised between the urban jungles of California and the wild reaches of Ireland. Growing up in the rugged mountains, stormy seas and old Irish forests that shaped her childhood, Mo cultivated a deep relationship with the mythic wild. Deeply guided by the land, her works focuses on the intelligence of the natural world and our mythopoetic, intrinsic relationship with the earth. In shifting our awareness to understanding that every piece of the landscape is alive, it brings us to a greater place of presence within ourselves. Every stone has a story, every creek is an artery, every plant is an ancestor and every seed is a dream. This is an ancient conversation to be heard, revered and shared. Art is not only a conduit to create beauty, but a catalyst to braid both grief and joy.
The land carves herself into Mo's heart, leading her to gather rosehips and nettle among creek beds. Mo aims to build bridges between our many walks of life, expanding awareness into the importance of protecting ecosystems, nourishing life ways and deepening communities with one another and our more than human kin. By drawing upon folklore and naturalism, she weaves stories of the heart in honor of the grief and joy within our inner and outer landscapes. Through the use of bright colors and soft application, she bends tradition to breathes new life into ancestral knowings. Mo invites you to crack open the curious seeds of your heart, and walk through a dream.
Mo has been a part of several creative outlets including but not limited to teaching, mural projects, youth outreach, non-profit work, gallery exhibitions, and live painting at events. Mo lives in Santa Barbara, California, in unceded Chumash territory. You can find her barefoot in the mountains, harvesting stories and medicine and in a basket.