Nature holds a lot of power that can teach and inspire us, as evidenced by all the folk tales involving animals. Making art helps me think about how we get along with animals and how we can change our lives to be more like them. One of the many things animals have taught me is to be adaptable—to change with my environment and to make art that changes with my environment, even using materials from it. Like a bird making its nest! But another lesson from animals is that of stillness, as I’ve been reminded during quarantine.
The following illustrations tell the story of the odd and isolated. Those of us who enjoy spending time with nothing but ourselves as we admire all parts of nature, such as beautiful landscapes and the clouds in the sky, experience reality differently than those whose days are filled with to-do lists, deadlines, and other people. Finding peace and relief from the frustrations of the real world is necessary every once in a while, and can entail travelling into a zone of enlightenment to the point at which we start to see the surreal. The following illustrations intend to show the power of taking time to experience the earth and one’s self.
“What Trees Feel Like” explores humans’ relationship with nature and asks how we tell stories about ourselves. It sheds light on how we center ourselves in our narratives and allow other important aspects to fade into the background.
How does art act as an indication of societal upheaval? This unique piece combines personal narrative and art history to remind us the roles we play are often conditioned by the structures we rail against.