O, Cult
Mixed media installation (altered found book, wood, canvas, paint, light bulb, found table, stool etc),
c. 84 x 48 x 48 inches

O, Cult
Mixed media installation (altered found book, wood, canvas, paint, light bulb, found table, stool etc),
c. 84 x 48 x 48 inches

Cover (2021
Soft bound book, ink, acrylic, gold feuchtpaste*
6” x 9” x 1” closed
11” x 9” x 1/2” open

*wonderful substance sourced in Berlin


Frontispiece (2021)
Ink, acrylic

We see what we choose to see, regardless of warnings. 
(O, say, does that star spangled banner yet wave?)

Heaven’s Gate (2021)
Ink, acrylic

This page depicts an extraordinary belief held by the suicided members of one of the two cults examined in this book: Heaven’s Gate members believed that after ingesting poison, an alien spaceship would carry their freed souls to the ’Next Level’.

LED (2021)
Ink, acrylic

Leader of Heaven’s Gate, embellished


Centerfold, Soft Bound Book (2021)
Chalk, pencil, ink, acrylic, perforation

As a sectional rendition of a classic labyrinth form, the heart of the geometric pattern suggests a human form from which a path radiates. The text is partially concealed in the way intent is in cults. 


She Walks in Beauty (2021)
Ink, watercolor

This embellished photo of the author is accompanied by Lord Byron’s poem, an ode to the etheric qualities of submissive devotion.

Faces (2021)
Ink, acrylic

they wait for soul-o!

Artist Statement:

Addressing the phenomenon of cults,“Bounded Choice” by Janja Lalich*, (published 2004) describes those who succumb to “Charismatic Authority Figures” as potentially anyone: yourself, for example. It advises on the identification of cults, their most common tricks for attracting devotees, the near-DNA level transformations that can occur under the sway of such an entity or individual, and tactical recommendations for assisting ex-members in creating healthier lives.

My copy of this book has been drawn and painted on from the center outward, culminating at the cover, which is now marked by gold ornamentation and a leering dark eye reflecting the Sacred/Profane-cum-Conventional/Occult contents.

Because half the country appears to be in a state of cultic enthrallment** with an inevitable awakening at hand, those of us who avoided this particular robbing of psychological equilibrium should acknowledge our own susceptibility to the condition, given the numbers at work, and at least attempt a partial grasp of the phenomenon if we can hope for re-assimilation in our lifetimes. 

Paula Carleton Evans is a Brooklyn based artist. At age 60, this is her gallery debut. Having painted throughout her life, she is now prompted to show her work due to concerns that COVID will nab her and she would endure infinity regretting her reluctance to share. 

*Carleton began working on the book prior to learning that it was recently made into an HBO film. Zeitgeist QED.

**Each side regards the other in this way, generally speaking.