Fortune-hunter & flower princess Finley Jordan talks magick mandalas, rituals and connecting with nature
Instagram: @joshuanightfury | fauxghost.com
Q: Can you tell us about your flower mandalas? What do they represent to you?
A: Most of these works are created in collaboration with tattoo artist, Pony Reinhardt (@freeorgy) of Tenderfoot Studio, and florist, Alea Joy (@aleajoy) of Solabee Flowers & Botanicals, both Portland- based. In hopes of carrying on the lives and stories of already admired “used” floral, we’re meditatively and ritualistically honoring, giving thanks, and offering them back to the earth. For me, this is a practice that has taken many different forms, exploring collection, taxonomy, momentary curation, tactile purpose, and material ephemerality, depending on the objects (ex. found bones, created sculptures, studio materials, digital prints, harvested vegetables, etc). In this iteration, the floral has seemingly struck a collective chord of consciousness. It’s another leap from buying a bouquet and admiring it through to its death, when the last petal has fallen. Honoring the work that’s gone into the growing, the magic in the earth’s creating, and mirroring her slowness in process and progress.
In the oral industry there can be a lot of waste. You sometimes make 50 centerpieces, get consumed by the hustle of one event, and at the end of the night you’re tearing apart and composting the work you created five hours before. Sometimes this is all there is time for, and a whisper of a “thank you” as you send it back to the earth through the compost bucket will have to do. This process has been a way for us to step back for a second, take a breath, and give ourselves to the flowers. Consider the shape of each individual petal, admire the wiggly stems, understand the growth patterns in a specific way you can only see through deconstruction into petal confetti, surrender to the slowness that’s so deeply rooted in the flower’s being. Like doing yoga, it’s a practice and a ritual; you give in and you get healed.
Q: Why is nature so vital?
A: Nature is the truest form of regenerative life. It is in a constant state of motion, growth and healing. It is the life giver for every single other thing on this planet. In it, exist many cycles: birth, life, death, rebirth, and so on throughout every level, down to the smallest of particles and the most basic of organisms. It becomes a mantra and greater metaphor to nd all of the answers. It teaches me how to heal, how to move on, how to appreciate the chaos and admire the uniqueness, and very frequently it teaches that we aren’t in control. In dark times, it reminds us that light will return, which has been a cliffhanger, recurring meditation for me lately.
Q: What is something that is important to you?
A: Keeping a clear mind, staying centered, and finding balance in all things.
Q: How do you stay centered and healthy?
A: Creating rituals and seeing them through. “Wake up, make coffee.” is one that I can check off the list most days and this keeps me a little more sane. It’s not the caffeine or the dependency, it’s the act of setting intention, following through and showing up. Creating altars. I’m an Aquarius sun, Cancer moon, and Gemini rising, which is a lot of air and a little water. In order to create balance with that, I find that adding some fire and earth elements into my rituals helps bring me back to center. For example, working with floral is a whole lot of earth, and I find a moment each day to light a candle, sage, or palo santo and set intention with fire in order to be balanced in all elements. Ultimately, creating a solid foundation, respecting and healing the physical vessel that is my body, in order to make space for the unknown that is most often, the creating process.
Q: What is a truth you know for sure?
A: A truth I know for sure is that Karma is real and it’s fierce.
Q: Tell us about what you create.
A: I like to describe myself as a fortune hunter, pack rat, fiber witch, flower princess. My current material of choice is most often flowers, but it’s been a long path of casting spells, planting seeds, and growing them to fruition. I have a slow studio practice of experimental fiber work, which sometimes takes the form of wearable sculptures, sometimes exists as conceptual cloth, and other times it simply exists as utilitarian home objects. Throughout the materials, there is an emphasis on working super hard on specific ideas that seem meaningful and important while allowing space for spontaneity and growth in unexpected directions. Learning that “feeling” is as valid to trust as tangible reasoning. The work is consistently experiential, while still being devoted to each "object" or physicality.