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In Aloft and Beneath, R.E.C. Chipper Thompson emphasizes the liminal space between earth and air, soil and vapor, lithosphere and atmosphere, salt air and salt
water, ground and sky. There is an entire world in the canopy of the sky, likewise in the caverns under our forests and farmlands.
I’m fascinated by the invisible beneath our feet and above our heads, and regardless of the certainty of our scientific knowledge about biology, I tend to interact in an emotional and almost folkloric way to the mysteries of the natural world, from rain to soil to pollen to mycelium to plant to leaf and fruit.
Prehistoric cave art as well as Medieval and Renaissance illuminated texts and codices influence Thompson’s artwork. His research into the earth-based rituals of
heathen peoples all over the world are equally important to his vision. Thompson’s study and performance of Appalachian, Anglo-Celtic, and Mediterranean folk music have profoundly affected his naturalistic worldview, as have his own observations of nature during long walks in the woods and fields.
Thompson sums up not only his artistic approach but his approach to life by saying:
In an environment expanding with concrete, wiring, steel, and glass, it seems not only healthy but vitally necessary to remember these earth-and-sky-based circles within circles, and to honor the almost occult processes of nature that result in our continued