My art is an invention of personal mythology and metaphoric spirit encased in physical forms and ritual objects.  It represents the meeting point between the secular and spiritual worlds.  It crosses the boundaries of function and form, craft versus sculpture, fine art verses folk art, tension versus peace, and explores the connections and balances between dualities.  My art is a collage and synthesis of inner explorations, world cultures, ancient myths, and symbols inspired from personal experiences traveling, observing, reflecting, and researching. To understand the whole, I search for truth in the common threads of wisdom found in various cultures, philosophies, and ways of life and create new meanings in the connection and synthesis of these ideas. The eastern spiritual philosophies of meditation, detachment, and transcendence as well as ritual magic and shamanism found in indigenous cultures intrigue me.  I honor them as they are transformed into my own visions.
My art is a personal examination and interpretation of universal forms within all cultures, masks, vessels, faces, and figurative work.  Working with the primal matter of clay from the earth, a moldable mass comes to life under my fingertips.  By casting its mysterious fluidness into endless possibilities, diverse aspects, textures, and complexities are discovered and revealed. My work explores the relationship between cast objects and sculpted forms, cultural and symbolic icons, faces, figures, family heirlooms, found objects, and their underlying metaphors that can be gifts to those open to finding their own meanings.  The objects from my ancestors are shrines to their memory.
My work is a process of living and a means for exploration, as I struggle to heal, celebrate, understand, transform, and digest life's challenges into nourishment.  My art is an inner examination of psychological desires, imbalances, and limitations and the possible resolutions within myself and the exterior world.  It gives form and brings light to my mysteries and darkness and helps me to be open, realize, transform, and face my inner realities that surface through invented faces and forms looking back at me.  I redeem myself and evolve, bringing light to dark and dissolving the tensions within than can consume, control, and suffocate freedom with denial, avoidance or masking our authentic selves.  My art strives to be as fearless, upfront, extreme, ornate, and authentically honest about the tension of searching, celebrating, healing, suffering, and its release.   My artistic process helps to ask the intuitive questions when right or definitive answers prove illusive.  It is a ritual tool to turn intention into a physical reality and guide me to envision and reach my highest potential as well as explore my consciousness.
Ancient traditions, ritual, and spirituality in art seems to have mostly been ignored in the modern art world that has lost much meaning in purely formal concerns.  Art used to serve the vital roles of ritual, religion, and mythology that resonated with core cultural beliefs and values.  I am filled with a curiosity of cultures outside the “art world” that are underrepresented, oppressed, undervalued, misunderstood, or oversimplified.  As an artist as well as educator I strive to bring art back as a necessity and an integral part of life that lends meaning and uniqueness to the lives of ordinary people as we all search for something extraordinary.
Esta Carnahan graduated from Massachusetts College of Art with a full double major in sculpture and art education in 2004, earning distinction and a sculpture departmental award.  She continued her studies at Mass Art and completed her Masters of Science in Art Education and finished in 2008 with a concentration in ceramics.
She is currently starting her fifteenth year as an high school art teacher at Quincy Public schools. Esta has studied abroad and traveled extensively in India, Nepal, Bali, Hong Kong, China, Ghana, Ecuador, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Israel, Greece, Italy, Rome, Morocco, and Canada.  Esta is also a certified Kripalu yoga teacher and has lived in meditation and yoga ashrams as well has interests in spirituality, mythology from different cultures, all themes  that find their way into her art.
Esta also has continued her artistic development outside of Mass Art by earning scholarships to attend prestigious art centers such as Haystack Mountain school of crafts and Penland school of crafts.
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