Audrey Wallace-Taylor

June 13, 1933 - Aug. 15, 2023

Leaf - Earth Leaf - Earth Leaf - Earth Leaf - Earth

Audrey Wallace-Taylor was born Audrey Langworthy Taylor during the Great Depression into a family of Hollywood artists. Her father Dwight wrote movies like “Top Hat” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, her mother Marigold was an actress, and her grandmother, Laurette Taylor, was one of the leading stage actresses of the 20th century. As a youngster, she lived much of the time at a boarding school in Ojai Valley, California, where her older brother Jeff also went. There she learned many of the skills of independence and love of nature that would serve her well. She lived many of her teen years in Winnetka, Illinois with her aunt Francis Murray, who remained a strong influence for the rest of her life. In Winnetka, she met and married Tim Wallace when she was 18. They went to work a ranch in Oregon where she lived the life of a rancher’s wife and had her first child, Carey. They soon moved to Corvallis so Tim could go to graduate school, and she had her second child, Peter. They moved to Sparks, Nevada, and then West Lafayette, Indiana, where her third child, Barbara, was born. When Tim finished his doctorate, they moved to Berkeley, California in 1964. Audrey’s life as an artist began very young, and it was a constant in her life even when she put it on hold for moves and children. In the Bay Area, she attended the San Francisco Art Institute studying with Richard Deibencorn, Jack Jefferson,and Bruce McGaw. She assisted many prominent artists such as Francois Gilot and Harry Sternberg, and she worked for seven months with Judy Chicago on “The Dinner Party.” All along she taught and maintained a fulltime studio practice. She divorced and became independent in the mid-70s. In the mid-90s Audrey sold most everything she had and travelled to India, Russia, Finland, England and Ireland. After returning to the U.S. she was drawn back to Southern India, to Auroville, where she had first landed on her round-the-world adventure. Auroville is one of the oldest and largest international communities in the world, founded on principles articulated by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. After a few years of going back and forth, she became an Aurovillian in 2006, and Auroville has been her home since. In India, she maintained an atelier for the community to facilitate people’s own sense of self expression. She painted full time in between teaching and being active in the community. She and others finally started CREEVA, a kind of artist’s cooperative, which is still running. She died at 90 years of age, and was painting up until three days before she left. Here are some of Audrey’s own words about painting, which seemed applicable to many things: My personal view of space has changed, as it is connected with my spiritual journey. Bucky Fuller said: "It is no longer up and down but in and out like pins; we are on a pin cushion on this planet." From aerial views of our world to drawings exploring the idea of morphic resonance, I keep wondering: What does it look like? What does it feel like? Ideas and feelings all mixed up and expressed by the body through a personal discipline like painting have only to do with my exploration of a personal reality. Wholeness is what I am seeking. I try not to avoid anything that comes, whether conceptually or in process. Consistency was part of a past discipline. Now I can let it be there -- or not -- within my work. Starting to work, I usually mix three or four colors (a very pleasant time, like cooking). Then I use rollers, sprays, sponges, squeegees, brushes, throwing, glazing -- applying the paint in any way that seems appropriate. I consciously want the viewer to know that my body is creating this work. Actually, it is my body and gravity, for many times I work on a panel on the wall of my studio that I can rotate clock-wise and counter clock-wise letting the paint move. I've begun to use a made-up calligraphy to denote mind chatter, or intellectual activity. It comes out of wanting to change the tones and textures in the Convergence Black and White Series. My drive to paint comes out of curiosity: What will this look like? Can I make it work? What does it have to tell me? Can it be beautiful? Audrey is survived by family members: daughter Barbara, son Peter, daughter-in-law Megan, granddaughter Lucia, grandson Kai, great-granddaughters Elena and Audrey, and brother Andrew and her sister Laurel. And she is survived by her chosen family in Auroville.


Leave the earth with beauty

Earth specializes in soil transformation, an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. Over a 45-day process, we gently transform a body into nutrient-rich soil. We then send this soil to our local conservation land where it’s used for restoration projects such as reforestation and nourishing challenged ecosystems.

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