Violation and Re-connection
an interactive exhibition designed to mobilize eco-conscious thoughts and re-connection with the natural environment
As an environmental artist and activist, my goals are to educate my fellow human beings on the nature of our physical relationship with the environment, and the artworks that I create involve consumer waste and natural materials. These materials are used intentionally to consider both my consumption as an artist, and the afterlife of my piece. In order to limit my environmental impact as an artist, all materials utilized in this sculpture are recycled and/or compostable. Once the sculpture outlives her life in this form, she will be returned back to the earth.
In making this work, I was inspired by ecofeminist ideals and ideology that express the parallels between the violation of the planet, and the violation of women. In ecofeminist theory, the simultaneous oppression and domination of women and the earth is emphasized in order to express a need to cultivate a holistic worldview that stresses equality and recognizes environmental implications – two things that are vastly undervalued under the conditions of the patriarchy. Mother Earth has existed as a symbol of fertility and growth for thousands of years. By utilizing this form to showcase environmental degradation, exploitation, and violation, I remain attentive to these existing, shared violations, and incorporate them into an image expressing subtle earthly femininity.
With all of the environmental issues that currently plague us, it can be easy to get lost in the sheer volume of overwhelming information and sense of imminent plight. As we collectively mine, remove mountain tops, drill for oil, pollute the world’s oceans, release toxic chemicals, and disturb the landscape in any way, we are very physically violating the earth and putting strain on our relationship with the world’s ecology. I have found that the most important thing to alleviating any personal sense of hopelessness or distress around earthly peril is to take a step back and find my roots in the natural environment. I would encourage anyone else who feels overwhelmed or hopeless to reconnect with the earth and all that she provides.
Viewers are greeted with the question:
What would you say?
"If given the chance to speak to the Earth, what would you say? Through our way of life, we exploit the Earth’s resources in unsustainable ways and we give back in the form of pollution; these violations ultimately make our relationship with the Earth strained and fragile. An important part of solving both present and future environmental issues will be mending this relationship.
Imagine the figure before you held the essence of the Earth. I invite you to speak to her, or simply write down what you would say and place it at her feet as an offering. Through these offerings of connection, we may give deference to the earth, and though this has no physical impact on the planet itself, it strengthens our relationship with the world’s ecology. Every day, we have the option to work as individuals to repair our relationships with the environment through our actions and our ways of perceiving the space around us."