Introducing Dver

Jan 10, 2021

Dver is a longtime acquaintance of NA’s founder, and we are excited to finally be able to feature her work! Dver has been a practitioner and devotional polytheist for several decades now, and the work she has done on behalf of her gods and spirits is inspiring.

Though pieces rarely come up for sale, her mixed media works are worth admiring as physical expressions of a life shaped by service.

What does your artistic practice look like?

I go where the spirits lead. I learn new techniques and work with new mediums as required by whatever I am called to create. Because of this, I am definitely a jack-of-all-trades type rather than a master of any craft. My art-making is very sporadic as well; it tends to happen in phases with sometimes long periods of no activity in between, while I focus on other expressions of my religious life.

What does your religious practice look like?

I dwell at the margins of the Hellenic tradition, with a focus on mysticism, magic, divination, trance, and devotional practice. My world in that regard revolves around Dionysos, with a side of Hermes. I do also honor a couple deities from the Northern tradition. Concurrent and increasingly intertwined with all of this is my spirit-work, involving both local/land-based and personal spirits.

How do they intersect?

There are several ways this happens. In the most straightforward way, I might create ritual implements or regalia, depictions of deities and spirits (especially masks), or devotional offerings. I often work animistically with the spirits of the materials I am using, and I usually create within at least a loosely ritualistic setting. But also, I have dedicated myself to serve a group of spirits who are particularly aesthetically inclined, for whom art could be said to be language, and even food. Under Their direction, I not only create the aforementioned items, but also use art as doorways in the wider world, leaving “glamourbombs” for others to find and potentially function as oracles and/or entrances to the spirit realm. Going further, I consider every aspect of my life as a way to express the aesthetics and symbolism of these spirits, and so strive to make my home, my everyday life, my physical body and adornments, all part of the art I create for Them on an ongoing basis.

What role do you think art serves in our religious communities?

For me, art is inextricably bound up with the spiritual world, and I think that’s how it began for us as a species as well (e.g., cave art). I feel it’s especially important within polytheism and animism to bring back this awareness, especially in an age where even art with religious themes is increasingly commercialized (see: hundreds of pagan Etsy shops). I’d like to see a return to the idea of art as a spiritual calling, separate from any attempts to monetize it.