Utilizing clays, sea water, plant infusions, and ground earth, these soaps are created in response to Vernacular Songs, a photographic series by Estelle Srivijittakar that documents Community Forestry efforts and the ways of a resident village in Thailand. I created this limited edition series of soap using a combination of land-based ingredients from Thailand, as well as from the California coastline.
Water connects regions that are distanced by entire ocean basins through an active and never-ending water cycle. Water is an essential ingredient in all of my soaps. With soap, water is momentarily paused in stillness until one bathes or washes one's hands. My use of water serves as evidence of a temporal experience of our interconnectivity. Materials from terrestrial, forested, and spiritually protected lands where we live make connection with our bodies. The process changes us, but we also changes its form. In hopes expressed through this project, we co-evolve and manage our connections respectfully.
This series of photographs conjures for me the primacy of perception and recovers a universal memory of a connection to the natural world. When I spend time with the imagery, a sense of atmosphere, color, scent, taste, and texture arise. I am documenting my somatic impression of Vernacular Songs with these small batches of hand-made soap. This soap, for me, holds space for a tactile connection to these stories.