I approach using art as a potent tool for healing the planet and as a platform for raising awareness of important environmental and ecological issues that all of humanity is currently faced with.
All forms of art have the potential to be tools for healing. I believe that through the creative process the healing of both self and the planet and our relationship to it can be transformed.
Why? Because when creative work is approached from a place of passion and purpose and art is brought to life with intention, great shifts can occur. Not only for the artist, but also for the viewer. I believe wholeheartedly that I can approach the canvas and paint intentionally to heal the earth and deepen my connection to it, and in doing so inspire others to deepen and honour a connection to the earth creatively.
There are many contemporary artists who are agents of environmental change and who are using their creative gifts and talents to build awareness and provoke thought through their work and process. Many artists, such as myself are working with transformative approaches and processes towards a new vision that is ecological and participates with the living cycles of nature. Many topics are approached such as oceans, climate change, water quality, recycling, water purification, natural disasters, de-forestation, endangered species and more.
Take the words of Nigerian painter Jerry Buhari: Today the talk of the world is about an endangered Earth. One often wonders how much of the talk is backed with genuine concern and the will to take positive steps. But it should not surprise the world that artists are in the forefront of the discussion on the environment.
Artists today are finding all sorts of inventive ways to call attention to the problems facing our environment, as corporate greed and profit impose destruction on our planet. While each artist works very differently and explores diverse territories, they share awareness about the critical loss of natural resources and a desire to save the planet from human destruction.
Eco-feminist artist Ann T. Rosenthal and activist artist Steffi Domike have been collaborating on environmental installations for years. Their wall installation, Watermark: Wood, Coal, Oil, Gas (2011) consists of four panels that illustrate an evolutionary timeline of energy resources—wood, coal, oil and natural gas.
Dominique Mazeau is a poet and artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has made an exquisite journal of poems and drawings of cleaning up the Rio Grande River over many years. She has made sculptures from the trash and she teaches school children about the river with her poems and her art.
There are many more Eco-feminist and Environmentalist/Activist artists such as Charla Puryear and Helene Aylon using their art to raise awareness of ecological issues. These few examples alone demonstrate that art, in its myriad of forms, has the capacity to effect positive change on the earth and its environments.
Artists are catalysts for change, and this “change” takes place when we feel deeply for a precious cause. I feel deeply for the earth and I feel that it is largely humanity’s disconnection from the earth and from the earth as mother that has contributed to the current state of not only the health of the earth body, but also the health of our bodies.
My most recent online offering, Painting Gaia, with guest teacher Glenys Livingstone, author of Pagain Cosmology : Re-inventing Earth-based Goddess Religion, is a nine-week e-Journey aimed at deepening and honouring earth connection and creative expression. The course is essentially about connecting back to nature physically and connecting to the wisdom of the earth through painting a powerful image of Gaia – the primordial Great Mother; earth and the cosmos Herself. I imagine that a world filled with new images of earth as mother, inspired by those of the ancient past, has the power to insight deep change. Effectively, it is a renewal, a remembering and a re-imagining that is necessary if we want this earth to provide and nurture the generations to come.
I am using my art as a healing force to heal the earth. Making art with intent to heal. As we heal ourselves we heal the Earth, and as we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves. I am Painting for the EARTh.
My image above, The Earth is my Sister, is the demonstration painting from my Painting Gaia Course. She represents abundance and is symbolic of a journey through the five elements, earth, air, fire, water and the ether. The cosmos has been left to show Gaia’s origins. The snake in the tree and the pomegranate, not only ancient symbols of Gaia and the Goddess, but symbolic of my place and my direct surroundings. The bees, birds and butterfly symbolise fertility and the flourishing of new life, but also contain deeper meanings relating to the many symbolic neolithic Minoan representations of the bee and bird goddesses and the ancient feminine symbol of the Labrys (Double Axe) as butterfly. Her title is inspired by a prayer I have recited daily after attending Carol Christ’s, Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete
This Earth is my sister
I love her daily grace
Her silent daring
And how loved I am.
How we admire this strength in each other
All that we have lost
All that we have found
We are stunned by this beauty,
And I do not forget
What She is to me
And what I am to Her.
Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature – The Roaring Inside Her
Jassy Watson, who lives on the sub-tropical coast of Queensland Australia, is a Mother of four, passionate organic gardener, Intuitive/Visionary & Community Artist, Teacher, Intentional Creativity Coach and a student of Ancient History and Religion at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the Creatress of Goddesses Garden, Studio & Gallery; a school for the Sacred Creative Arts. Jassy teaches regular painting workshops in person, nationally and internationally, and online based around themes that explore myth, history, earth connection and the Goddess. Regular creative events and presentations are also held that have included visits from international scholars, artists and musicians. Jassy’s next online e-Journey, ‘Painting Gaia’ opens again on Friday February 13th, 2015. You can see the details and register HERE.