My name is Imelda Almqvist. I am a Dutch painter, based in London, UK.
I picked ‘Angakok Shaman Mother’ because there are three things in life I feel passionate about: motherhood (I am a mother of three boys), painting (I am a painter) and shamanism. At the moment I am doing the shamanic practitioner training with The Sacred Trust in the UK, where I live. Shamanism is about ancient ways of healing and seeking visions in close cooperation with the spirit world. A shaman can be described as someone who ‘walks between worlds’. Another description of a shaman is ‘someone who closes their eyes in order to be able to see’.
I have a great fascination with the Far North, in particularl Greenland and the Inuit People. ‘Angakok Shaman Mother’ was inspired by Inuit Art and mythology. The indigenous peoples of Siberia believed no woman could be a shaman until her childbearing years were over. In great contrast to this the Inuit people told many stories about mothers who tucked their babies in the Amaut (or hood) of their parka and went about their duties as a shaman. I really loved that combination, of a mother doing shamanic work as part of her everyday life, taking the children along with her! For me my own shamanic training has been a life-changing event that has opened many doors in both my mind and in my life. This painting has found a wonderful home at Ashton Lodge with the Sacred Trust in Dorset. For more information about courses and workshops in shamanism, the link is www.sacredtrust.org. To see more paintings inspired by Inuit legends and life in the Arctic, you can visit the INUIT SERIES on http://www.imelda-almqvist-
The second painting I picked was ‘Cathedral in Ice’. I made this painting about 18 months ago. I made a trip to Greenland in August 2008 and while there I had great vision where I spoke to the Spirits of Place and they showed me this image of a Cathedral in Ice, where animal spirits live on after death. They asked me to paint this vision and create a website highlighting the issues of global warming, pollution, the melting of glaciers and the pack ice, and many arctic animals (polar bears in particular) facing extinction. This vision can be found in full (with more paintings) on the following page: http://www.imelda-almqvist-
The last painting I have chosen is titled ‘Clara Luces, Ascension’*. I made it just over a year ago, in the run up to Christmas, while listening to Latin American Baroque Christmas Carols. This painting is about our world undergoing a process of great transformation and a shift to a higher vibration and higher spiritual awareness. This shift is often referred to as Ascension. In this painting you can see the world and two human beings climbing the Tree of Life as they pass through different stages of awareness. It is a journey every human being on earth makes – but some are more aware of it than others. As this blog is about ‘art with soul’, inviting contributions in the place where art and spirituality meet – this painting had to be included – or so I thought!
If you would like to see more of my work, my website address is www.imelda-almqvist-art.com. I always love hearing people’s comments and I have often found inspiration in the words of visitors! If ever you find yourself in London, feel free to book a studio visit to see these paintings in reality!