Brian speaking about his Ancient Medicine series
"In July 2016 I was en route to Alaska by way of Portland OR. It was there I received a phone call telling me the life changing news that my father had taken his own life. I returned to New York to attend his funeral. Two days later I was back on my way to Alaska. Shortly thereafter, I came to find my feet planted, although tenuously, upon a glacier.
These massive rivers of ice typically inspire awe with their sheer magnitude, the profound influence on the earth both under and around them, the unfathomable volume of water locked within. In my fragile state, something else inspired me: time. These behemoths flow essentially as rivers do, but on a time scale beyond any simple human comprehension. Over the next several days, across and above many more glaciers, I stepped out of the present and let my mind succumb to geologic time. I found comfort in it’s endless cycles. My place in the modern world held only pain, but in the geologic world there was only deep time and slow rhythmic patterns.
- Brian Merriam
"I stepped out of the present and let my mind succumb to geologic time. I found comfort in it’s endless cycles.”
Ancient Medicine asks the viewer to consider these flickers and glimpses, to step out of the human timeline and into a geologic one, to try to imagine the slow tick of eons that have led to these compositions being possible, and to be soothed, as Brian was, by the notion that this has all been before and will be again, whether or not there is anyone here to witness it.