I first met Naomi and her unrivaled artwork at a local craft fair. I was immediately taken aback by the level of detail and symbology in her pieces and then by her kindness and open attitude. A little over a year later and thewitchwench.com was born. I knew I wanted to use my voice to share the work of others and Naomi was one of the top of that list.
I Popped over the meet her in her home for a brew and a chat, her house easily recognisable from the charms and artwork surrounding it. Not quite her dream home, she explained, but to me it felt peaceful and inspiring -much like her work, a testament to the energy she gives off me thinks.
When asked to describe herself and what she does, Naomi gave me a wonderful description of ‘witch’ being: a wise woman who works within a community, who helps and heals directly through their craft and also by being available to talk and heal. This resonated strongly with me. Naomi however, Heals through her art:
For me, my expression of my spirituality is purely through my art. So, all my healing intention and everything goes straight through there not directly to people. But then other people have said to me, Well, no, you are still healing, you are still contributing to the community. The way I work is I channel and that’s a sacred process that I go through. So sacred artist is what I go by. It is part of my practice daily, but it’s very solitary for me. A very introspective thing, as opposed to doing it in order to help. Obviously, it helps externally. But my intention is not necessarily there, It is just that I’m driven to do these things, as opposed to going, Oh, I’m going to do this for this purpose.
Ideas and Inspiration come to Naomi in a variety of ways, often through meditation. She visits sacred spaces and meditates there as well as having her own sacred spaces where she feels compelled to visit ( feeling I know well). She describes it as feeling like a channel; She may know what she wants to convey, an entity, a festival that has made itself known to her or something commissioned. The images always morph and change continuously. It is always a journey and one piece takes months to complete from receiving the message of inspiration, to completion.
Naomi takes herself and is led on journeys spiritually and physically when she is working on a piece. She follows the path laid out and the feels the nudges from the universe allowing her to include so much. For example, when working on her Epona piece, the opportunity arose to visit some horses in Glastonbury. Also, every tree in her work is a drawing of a real tree not an imagined one which, I think, is one of the reasons they reach people so profoundly, the art constructs itself through Naomi.
what I start off with is not necessarily what I finished up with, because it wasn’t through my decision, the way I work is very intuitive even if people give me a set of criteria, what comes out? I can’t say, I may include the bear that is important to you. But the way the bear interacts within that space, that inner space of the artwork is up to the artwork. Not to me.
The healing for me anyway, comes through observing the details. Every time I look, I see something new or feel a connection to a different aspect of the piece. Naomi explained to me that this is the way in which they heal:
That’s how it should be. It should be that people can return again and again, and they will see see a different thing, whatever is calling to them or they need to see, that’s my whole philosophy: it is literally what you see is what you need to see. And you see something different every time because your needs are always changing. Because that is the essence of our life- change. If you’re returning to something then there is something more to learn.
I am particularly fond of her sabbath Images and use them myself to meditate on own personal journeys as we move through the wheel of the year. They are even available as prayer flags for that very purpose. (I know right?! seriously, have a look at her website at the bottom, they are exceptional)
Getting to know Naomi a little more I could feel she is highly connected. That cosmic push and pull (I know how it feels) to follow the path you should be on is what her practice seems to center on; listening and surrendering to it (unnerving at times) is something she seems astonishingly comfortable with. As we talked more Naomi told me something that blew me away…
Naomi is originally from Christmas Island a territory of Australia, due to her Father’s work she was fortunate enough to be able to travel somewhat and began to see, feel and absorb essences of paganism, though her family were “in no way pagan” Naomi could feel it even at a young age. When she was 10 her family moved to Australia which never felt like home. which was very much to do with not being indigenous.
The more I travelled around Australia, the more wrong it felt and I said no, this is this isn’t my home. This is a beautiful place I’m visiting. I respect it and I honour it but this is not my space. This is not for me to own, take or be you know, part of in that sense. So when travelling to Europe, I came full circle, landed a few miles away from Totnes and that’s where my ancestors come from and I haven’t moved since. This is definitely my ancestral land and I definitely felt that connection straightaway and then afterwards found out through my mom’s genealogy and her family tree, they came about three generations ago from Totnes to Australia.