Awakening to a Sentient Ecosystem

Reflections on the Dream a nü Dream Museum Show by Curator, Shiloh Sophia

Screen capture of Shiloh Sophia and Jonathan McCloud interviewing Laüra Hollick and Kevin Thom

Following the experience of the Dream a nü Dream Museum Show, my husband Jonathan and I felt delighted, elated and humbled by the experience of featuring such incredible creatives at MUSEA Intentional Creativity Museum. We had over 200 attendees live from around the world join with us to view the inspiring artwork of Soul Artist Laüra Hollick and Photographer Kevin Thom. We were fortunate to be able to hear them share about the inspirations and process behind their creations. Jonathan and I have been long-time admirers of Kevin and Laüra’s work, vision and process – so to share this space with them was a true honor. I offer my gratitude to Laüra and Kevin for trusting our curatorial team to showcase their work as an Exhibition at our Museum. How wonderful to bring our mutual communities together to celebrate art!

The work for me represents a woman’s relationship with nature, with honoring life, with becoming an extension and collaborative contributor to her ecosystem. I can’t help but imagine – in an observer based universe – how delighted the snow was to have Laüra create color on its sparkly surface. Remember the studies on water and how it can be imprinted with intention? Imagine how the landscape of water responds to Laüra and Kevin’s presence. How the trees felt in kinship with her becoming a tree with them, extending herself as a branch. How the branches felt with colorful fabric wrapped around them. Did they experience tenderness? Did they come to life in a new way?

Indigenous Knowledge and new findings in modern biology – such as the work of Dr. Suzanne Simard in Finding the Mother Tree – reveal to us that plants and trees are sentient beings that can communicate with one another. They exchange information through carbon and nitrogen, facilitated by mycelium and bacteria. And this is the same for us in many ways. The earth is impacted by human presence, intention, communication and collaboration – in both beautiful, generative ways, as well as deeply harmful ones. For over 2000 years there has been a devastating overarching worldview of ‘domination’ over nature. While many of us are recovering from that within ourselves, this pattern still exists all over the world. It is a confused idea that nature must submit to mankind. That we have rights to treat it simply as a ‘resource’ or a garbage dump. It is a tragic disconnection from our own place of being and dependency within the complex ecological web.

We know that trees talk over vast-distances, have intricate social lives, and survival information traveling between them – and oh the mycelia and how they are the root of the earth that weaves us all together. Laüra and Kevin’s work has reminded me to amplify my own relationship with nature. I shall not just hug a tree today, saying hello like I do on the regular, I will become tree, tie a red thread of connection around its branch, and my own wrist. Invite communion.

Original painting of woman with tree by Shiloh Sophia

On a personal level, our Artists invited us to Dream a nü Dream with them – and so I did. Jonathan and I spent the few days leading up to the show asking ourselves what our dream for the next twenty years is. Art influences us if we let it. But then something else came when I watched the behind the scenes footage… became personal. I grew up in a household with very little financial resources, but we had fabric, and wood. My mom was a tapestry maker and a carpenter. So no matter where we lived, or how long we lived there, my mother and grandmother quite literally hand-built the environment. They would create beauty in our environment – cover the walls with fabric, make curtains, bedding and even night clothes out of the it. Everything followed an intentional color palette. My mother’s palette was deep red, gold and a green that had a hint of blue in it, like a turquoise. She loved that Boy George song wouldn’t it be lovely if your colors were like my dreams, red gold and green.

Well last night after the show I emailed my step-father and asked him to please save my mother’s fabric for me, as she still had a wall of fabric left over after she walked into her future last year. I was going to give it away, even though some of it reaches all the way back to my childhood. I don’t sew, so I couldn’t imagine what I would do with it. However now, after witnessing Laüra’s ways of working with fabric, weaving it into art, wrapping it on trees, I feel inspired to make a tapestry of some kind to honor my mother. I will be consulting with Laüra for how I might approach this intentional project. I saw some kind of wall hanging. I am dreaming the nü dream.

I invite you to visit the Dream a nü Dream Exhibit Page, where you can watch the inspiring Museum Show and interview with Laüra and Kevin, as well as view the gallery of images that will deeply inspire and move you.

After witnessing the Exhibit, I invite you to sit with your journal or in quiet reflection and consider what new dream are you inspired to dream?

Shiloh Sophia
MUSEA Curator

Dream a nü Dream Exhibit is NOW Showing at the Museum

Featuring the inspiring collaboration of Soul Artist Laüra Hollick and Photographer Kevin Thom