I am perpetually inspired by the words of Yoko Ono "I thought art was a verb, rather than a noun" because for me, art is at all times an experiential process - not just for the observer, but for the producer as well. I want my art to be a starting point for conversation about conservation (in all the senses of the word), that engages and invites an empathic ethos toward all living creatures; recognizing their inherent worth and value. My eco-conscious efforts are not only part of the art I produce, but are an integral part of how I teach. I always strive to reduce waste, and improve efficiency in how all materials are used, including water. My soul is with nature, my passion is with art.
A Contemporary Ode
By Andrea Elena
Traditionally, discourses of conservation have leaned heavily on narratives of victimhood, unwittingly transforming nature into a passive object to be acted upon and on behalf of rather than as an active agent with which we can only, at best, interfere.
Positioned as saviours, humans unintentionally reduce the inherent status of nature, failing to piously celebrate the intelligence, tenacity, and resourcefulness not only of animals but also plant life, which has, of course, exposed its intricate and strategic systems of self-preservation, majestically and with great poise, as we scurry by it not taking notice of how profoundly empowered it truly is.
To be a bastion for the preservation of nature is not, indeed, to be a mouthpiece speaking authoritatively on its behalf, nor is it to be the evangelical knight, instead, the path to a more sincere conservation is one in which we can finally admit nature’s awe-striking ability, and hope only to exist humbly before it.
Pandering to people about nature through a script of pity jeopardizes the productivity, which might be possible when working to coexist respectfully with nature. Inextricably networked, plants and animals have never been ours to husband, they have instead been gracious hosts to our petulance and capricious existence.
Turning to nature, taking a meaningful stare at it, should elicit nothing less than veneration, and gratitude to be but a part of it. Celebrate nature. But, be in it like a well-mannered houseguest, aware of the ephemeral place that is held within it.
Appreciate the tacit wisdom nature holds.
Sit with nature, and listen to what it whispers, before it starts to yell.