Oharai / お祓い

Oharai / ceremony お祓い/ 儀式 
Paper, soil, rice straw 紙、土、稲穂
Kate Hill + Eugene Howard            
ケイト ヒル+ ユージン ホワド

Oharai engages with the ritualistic tradition of blessing land before altering it. Carrying over from Kate Hill's work in Japan and Australia involving digging, refining and processing local clay, and Eugene Howard's interest in landscape and layering through works on paper, Oharai offers traces of a Jichinsai ritual performed by the artists and friends in Hokuto, Yamanashi, on an artist residency. 

A series of soil on paper drawings map the process of digging through six layers of earth: from rich hatake agricultural soil to red loam and pooling water. Temporal layers are marked by a collection of works from rice straw, each piece a varying stage in an attempt to make rope. 

Relocating the work from its rural origin to an urban context allows the work to engage with dichotomous readings around land use, construction and traditions arising from specific geographies.

  お祓いとは、ある土地を活用する前に、その土地に感謝を込め祈る宗教的な日本の伝統である。ケイト ヒルが日本とオーストラリアで手がけてきた、地元の土を、掘る、磨く、加工すること、ユージン ホワドが興味を示す、風景を何層にも描く事– 山梨県は北杜市のアーティストや、その友人により、地鎮祭において宗教的なお祓いを垣間みることができた。