Linda Louis’s series ‘EARTHKINS
 - People of the World' and her ‘story’ have been chosen as an NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Featured Artist for their 50th Anniversary celebration.

EARTHKINS - People of the World

THE FACES, smiling expressions belie the deep wistfulness within the faces of Earthkins. One openly beams, another has a shy secret. Behind the masks, the eyes appear happy but their souls are locked away. They crave attention whoever they are; brown, black, green, yellow, purple, blue, rosy-skinned,
dark skinned.

A Virtual View - Click to enlarge.

The inspiration for the sculptural faces, called Earthkins, comes from the artist's life-long introspection and study into how emotions are facially conveyed and the intense impact even subtle variations in facial expression can have. The Earthkins Series follows a long succession of work based on the subject of faces the thread of which goes back a number of years. Its genealogy includes multi-chrome paintings and full color and black and white drawings.

GROWING UP, the artist spent endless hours in featureless, whitewashed waiting rooms often the only 'normal' child among those others; a childhood spent among children who longed to play. Their expressions were full of courageous cheer, especially the one who was the focus of his parents' life-long devotion, hopes and resources, Thomas.

Just as the children in the artist's past shared common emotions, the Earthkins Series attempts to symbolize the great multitude of Earth's inhabitants as feeling, sensitive beings who yearn for love, friendship, respect, hope. While basic human requirements are food, clothing and shelter, underlying visceral needs are every bit as essential. Earthkins represent an allegory of the humble questing human. With Earthkins, the artist attempts to conjure all peoples, the same in many ways, even though diverse in form and color.

THE EARTHKINS SERIES follows a fixed theme: A sculpted face, in relief on a one inch platform, 6" sq. As the work takes shape it acquires unique features and emotional expression. Each Earthkin has a distinct personality. Each smiles in its individual way, conveying an underlying vulnerability, a desire to be deemed special. Earthkins are neither male nor female, adult nor child. They have no specific ethnicity. Every face radiates its own individuality, imparting the gift of a small surprise. Each tries its best to catch your eye.

EARTHKINS ARE REMINISCENT of treasured playthings of long ago, i.e. dollheads made of china, carved wood, cloth or clay crafted to amuse children of bygone times. Earthkins are in groups of 25, 16, 9, 4 or 2. Some are singles. They represent the diverse peoples of the earth.

THE ARTIST EXPRESSES IT: "One of the special delights for me it is when the work begins to take on a life of its own, in some sense similar to the shock and delight Geppetto must have experienced when Pinocchio became a real boy."

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