Quest Skinner, a DC artist living Brookland, has been part of the local art community for more than 20 years. The exhibition expresses her impression of her first "immersion" Into the "Burning Man" experience. This was an experience "she wanted long before it registered how much it would change her life. What is Burning Man depends on you...". For Quest it was the beginning of an amazing new chapter to a great lifeshe has already been gifted.
This was an experience wanted long before it registered how much it would change my life. As I stepped off the plane in Reno the journey had officially began. A few hours later I was standing on a thousand year old lake bed and constructing a village to help support 125 campers. From the moment I was gifted my ticket from Burning Man the gifted society began to humble my soul.
On day one of arrival we learned most of our personal supplies were delayed in transit and would arrive 5 days later. That momemt was a real reality check on survival many on the advance team like myself made do with just our carry-ons. Thankfully I had a spare tent and sleeping bag in mine my friends back home had urged me to take. Coming from Arizona you learn never to go to the desert unprepared. So my first gift was shelter to a couple that road up with me who became instant friends. Once there we began to pitch in and work the first few days were amazing minus what you don't have and realizing what we did. My camp was at 4:45 D and is called Home Rule Village. As we worked and partied I realized my next gift were the great minds and soul that enriched this desolate terrain. If you must be in the desert I must suggest being there with scientist and engineers our home was a resort. We had a wonderful outdoor kitchen withl plumbing to all 6 camps in our village, sail shades that hung above our heads on 20ft poles, grey water removal through wind turbines, and a viewing tower that was six stories high. All constructed in less than 7 days. After working on the advance team I feel as though I got to see the birth of the 3 largest city in Reno for 7 days.The art and sculptures were beyond most comprehension and are a must see. Each day the city filled with new treats the art cars that were full on dance clubs, the construction of the temple to such beauty, the 5.5 miles of residents who resided in the most non traditional housing (yurts, tents, rv, hammocks, or where ever your head fell for the evening).
It was quite amazing to see when money was no longer a form of currency how hugs and helping really were the preferred method for us all. For 15 days money did not cross my hand and it was not missed. While abiding by the 10 principles its almost was obvious if others need a hand and if you could why wouldn't you. So on one of my many adventures I decided go check on friends at Dr. Bronners camp and volunteered my services for the Oasis at the desert. After being tapped on my shoulder and told go grab my camp they could all be foamed. I got lost running back to camp the rangers brought me back. As I biked my huffy through the kitchen saying anyone want to get foamed (clean) we all road a few blocks and had a moment of cleanliness after 8 days of no showers. For the next few days my camp had access to a fun experience and I was able to use my gift of gab for a gift to my camp (bathing).
It was great I made a ton of new friends who after working foam all day were so eager to share there adventures as we partied through the night.
It was at night that Black Rock City illuminated and truly took life one night I looked out from our viewing tower and it seemed like we were in Vegas but 2075. The city just pulsed with fire breathing dragons, neon costumes, and a bold since of everyone was a picture of art. Of course the night time was my favorite.
My soul truly became a burner on the night they burned the Man and the confessional it was amazing to sit front row witnessing what I saw contructed go back to the earth in flames. The cheers of it all as the crowd rushed to the rubble to walk the ring of fire to celebrate its return to the land. The temple burn was starkly quiet and it was on Sunday and emotions were high but not a word came from a crowd in the tens of thousands many had came and left messages of hope and prayers for those they love and loss. The only sound was that of people crying in remembrance. As I walked a friend to the fire we wispered to me "I have something I need to put in the fire" we politely made our way to the front where we did just that.
Some how Burning Man helped to reinforce my love for humanity and show me that vesting in communities can always build an amazing experience and I honored I got to go "Home".