‘Body as Art’ has hands-on opening

Feb 25, 2013
Antje Roitzsch and Deborah Cautela, collaborating with Lisa Elizabeth Prayer, have created a series of black and white photographs that celebrate massage.

Camden — There will be an unusual opening reception for the March art exhibit at the downtown Camden Public Library. The exhibit, “Body as Art,” is a display of black and white photographs by Antje Roitzsch and Deborah Cautela. The opening event Tuesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. will be an experiential workshop dubbed Getting in Touch with Touch.

The workshop will be led by Roitzsch, who is a licensed Massage Therapist and Master Phenomenal Touch Practitioner; and Cautela, 5Rhythms Movement Therapist and Advanced Phenomenal Touch Practitioner. They are the founding members of TheMaineBeehive.com, a community for the healing, movement and visual arts. The Maine Beehive will open its doors in Rockport in April with services ranging from Phenomenal Touch massage to showcasing local crafts and businesses.

“Collaborating with our community and inviting co-creation of events or services in the Beehive is a high priority,” said Roitzsch. “We live in a society without a lot of touch. Studies show how important touch is in our development and in our daily lives. How can we regain the connection to touch in a safe, non-sexual way?”

The March 5 presentation/workshop offers an opportunity to explore and become more aware of touch. Roitzsch said it will begin with perceiving an object visually vs. exploring it through touch and paying attention to the different information can be received through the hands — can this new awareness change the way we meet our friends and family with touch? Simple seated massage instruction and practice will round out this experiential time together.

“The photo exhibit ‘Body as Art’ emerged to show the reverence for the body, any body,” Roitzsch said.

Massaging many different bodies over the years, Cautela and Roitzsch developed a sense of reverence and honor to work with all the different bodies and body types, treasuring and celebrating each and every one of them. They invited Lisa Elizabeth Prayer to collaborate with them in taking these photographs; joining the collaboration as models were Bruce O’Donal, Jean Matlack, Dominique Gordon and Jamal Griffin. Lisa Diane Mead of Pinnacle Design printed the images.

The exhibit was inspired by the sense of awe, to capture the dance between the receiver and giver of touch, said the artists. The pictures show receiving tender, loving massage in large images to specific closeups, honing in on a tender moment of connection, trust and surrender.

Roitzsch and Cautela will give a related talk on Phenomenal Touch Tuesday, March 19, in the Picker Room, surrounded by the photo exhibit. The demonstration will be enhanced by poetry read by Barry Portney. The model will be Karen Mack. After the live demo, there will be a chance to ask questions and receive more information on Phenomenal Touch and its practitioners.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Deborah Cautela, left, and Antje Roitzsch
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