An interview with GoddessKRING~

Shannon Kringen is a goddess. in a way, we all are - but the goddess kring best embodies the free spirit of raw female power and joy.

She's a tall voluptuous scorpio who has been an artist all of her life. she lived in an art commune when she was nine. she studied graphic design, then became a hitchhiking vagabond. now she has her own cable access show, where she paints her body, then speaks kring poetry - displaying her wonder for all to see.

Let's see what she has to say about her life so far.... Photography, video, television, performance art... what else do you do?

I paint KRINGwear clothing and furniture. I write & record KRINGspeak poetry... I am working on a cd right now.

How did you start ? How long have you been doing it and what training have you had?

 All my life I have been an artist. My father writes comedy and music and my mother designs with clay and metal. I grew up with visual and performing art all around me. Video I started in 1995. I am rather guiet and introspective...I held back my desire to perform for years- until I started modeling and got a video camera- a chain reaction occurred...and now I can't stop! My art training started with my parents encouraging me to use my imagination and express my ideas. I studied piano, ballet, tap, choir, theatre, painting, drawing and design off and on throughout childhood and into high school. I went to graphic design school for 3 years to focus on visual art...but never pursued it professionally. I got into modeling for art classes accidentally which led to performance art. All through childhood I did shows in my room with colored lights and music and dance and costume- but was to shy to really share with an audience...video is perfect for my shyness. When I am alone I can let my true self come out and express itself. Recording it and sharing it is sacred to me. I have many self esteem issues and shame about expression. Family troubles caused my authentic self to lay dormant while I showed the world my "fake self". My art allows me to share truth.

What medium best expresses your emotions?

Video is my favorite. Voice, movement, color, shape... combining them all feels very liberating. I approach video like a painter - alone in my studio -wanting to share when it is done - not live but as a finished piece documenting a mood.

Were you born creative or did you become creative?

 Both. I am very sensitive and both my parents are artists. I am lucky they encourage me- but I would create art even if they didn't understand my need for it.

What do you do for a living?

 Art modeling for classes. Drawing, painting, photography, sculpture. (Since 1992.) I give my art to people through the web and cable access tv.

What drives you to create ? What do you hope to convey?

My childhood was both painful and joyful...full of contradictions. I was loved and neglected back and forth. I feel like I am always looking for my real self. I use my art to reach out for truth and to honor and create a sacred s p a c e for individuality. My message is to savor yourself. We are all very precious unique creatures. I feel compelled to share what I see in my filter- and hope to encourage my audience to honor their own visions. Paradox of unity and separation ...that is one of the themes that fascinates me.

How did you come to realize yourself as a GODDESS? Do all women contain the goddess within?

 It popped into my brain one day. I visit many metaphysical bookshoppes and see goddess statues all over... the voluptuous curvey torsos - and modeling for art classes made me think of archetypes... female form. So many people (men and women) torture themselves about not looking perfect enough...I feel drawn to honoring and loving myself as a goddess in the flesh. Spirit and human flesh as one. Accepting my beauty as it is- not skinny... We are all divine gods and goddesses here. I choose to celebrate that. I also just thought it sounded cool and sort of funny "GoddessKRING" has a ring...

Are you a spiritual person? It looks like you radiate love and spirituality through your artwork... is this a conscious decision?

That is wonderful feedback. I am happy you picked up on that. ( some pick up the dark side of my work- which is some self conscious= narcissism...and I admit I have some issues with that) I am a very emotional person- I have very strong reactions to sound, touch, smell, look, feel - all the senses... Sometimes I lose touch with my deepest self. My heart/soul/god energy. I use my expression to remind me of the WHOLEness of life. Body, mind, spirit. I am driven to grow and heal. I fear repression and denial of emotion. I express to air this all out and let it go.

Do you feel more beautiful or powerful when painted? (what kind do you use?)

Yes. I feel so good in the body paint. In a past life I must have been in some sort of tribe where we danced in paint ! Being covered in it feels so natural and familiar to me. I feel very feel and powerful all painted up. Ironically it becomes less about how I look and more about how I feel when I decorate my skin with paint ! It is a very sensual experience. (I use stage makeup. It comes in powder form from the costume and display store. It is very easy on the skin if you are careful) When I "hide" in my paint I feel more like I am free to share what is deep within me.

 What does nudity symbolize to you?

Freedom and honesty. The naked human form is grace and beauty. I like to get peoples attention to issues of repression, censorship, fear of trusting nature and shame associated with not having the perfect 10 body ! My nakedness is a metaphor for the wholeness of what I share - honest emotions, thoughts, ideas. Stripped down and bare. I don't have all the answers. Questions are abundant in my world! Do you work alone or with groups? I work best alone. I enjoy being in my own world when I create. I tend to freeze up and become very shy with others around. I am like a clam ! I am sure I will change with time... but for now working solo is my passion.

What has the reaction been to your work?

 Since 1995 I have received thousands of letters ranging from people who say I inspire them- to those who say I am looney ! Refreshing, narcissistic, intense, dreamy, magical, trance like, crazy, funny, unique, bizarre, shameful...the list goes on. I am still surprised how many people I seem to reach. It used to bother me when people didn't like me. Now I realize it is their right to not like my art ! To love it or hate it is everyone's right. I find the more I share my art the more I need to stay centered and clear on expressing what I want and allowing my audience to have any opinion they desire. It is a big mirror really- between us all.

What do you hope the reaction will be?

 I dream that I am encouraging people to trust their inner selves and express their desires. Remind myself and my viewers that we have choices in this life- to do and create what we like. In this conformist world it is easy to get side tracked into following the herd. If that makes you happy fine... for me FREEDOM to express what makes me different is my passion. I love to encourage people to be authentic and let go of masks. Compassion and kindness are very precious. Do you have many secrets or do you let most of yourself out in the open? There is a lot I don't say. I thought I let it all out- but I have discovered I hold back a great deal. I share in waves...like a spiral onion peel...it never ends. So many layers and so many tears in peeling that veggie !

Do you find society has more or less secrets as time goes by?

 We are better and worse...People say they want the truth- but when they get it they freak out ! Like when Clinton and Monica's affair finally was out in the open- people got mad at the president for lying- but the pressure is on in this world to keep up an image/front.

Also big corporations in denial about toxic dumping of waste etc. I wonder how many cover-ups their really are? And how much is just fear of facing what they are doing themselves? On a personal level- I think Hollywood ideals of beauty and fame and riches- people take too seriously. It is fantasy. It bugs me when people are phony and try and impress people with material flash- but it also bugs me to go the other extreme and reject all material pleasure. Balance is what I crave. Taking responsibility for how your actions effect others and having compassion for all involved. Future plans? My life is transforming right now. I have no idea what I am doing really ! It is improv to me from day to day. Keep growing, healing, and making art/sharing it. I see travel ahead of me ...overseas. Europe, Australia, and NYC...I also see childbirth at some point. Being a mother would be amazing. Lots of dreams to manifest.