For many of us, cleansing entails hopping into a nice comforting shower or drawing a hot bath. We start our days with these little rituals that are so embedded in our day-to-day life that we pay them no mind. For others, cleansing has a whole other meaning. From the outside these other methods may look similar and entirely physical. Quite the opposite, this cleansing draws in the spirit world and connects us to the practices of our ancestors. Ritual cleansing varies greatly across North America. Some First Nations, for instance, utilize smudging to cleanse and protect themselves and others. This entails washing with the smoke of sacred plants such as sage or sweetgrass. Others enter sweatlodges to bathe in steam and connect with their ancestors. Here they may be gifted visions as part of their cleansing. Since time immemorial, my ancestors have bathed in our rivers and streams. Entering frigid waters our people would wash themselves within the lifegiving force of the river. This prepared them for the possibility of capsizing in their canoes. More importantly, however, it was and is a ritual cleansing that binds them to their ancestors. It is a spiritual journey—the river washes away the bad and imbues the bather with profound inner strength. Through cleansing, we are able to enter the stream human and emerge as eagles.
- Andy Everson
“Cleansing” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in December of 2007 and printed by Andy Everson at the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 109 prints bear the title “Cleansing” and are signed by Andy Everson: 99 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/99 through 99/99; 9 Artist’s Proofs; and 1 Printer’s Proof. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton rag paper measures 17x22 inches. Image size measures about 14x18.5 inches.
Click here for the biography of Andy Everson