As I explore the concept of the ‘ecological self’, I research symbols that come from nature, particularly nature symbols that have a deep effect on our psyche, symbols like ‘cave’ or ‘sun’. I use this research along with journaling, research into sacred art, collaboration and meditation (in the form of mandala-circle paintings), as sources for images. The images I uncover are surprisingly cohesive and relate deeply in ways I could not have conceived and am only now coming to understand.
This research process includes much writing and note taking. To comprehend fully the relationship between the images and symbols, I distill my writings into repurposed and handmade books. These books record the significant images, symbols and words that come about during the research for the project Portrait of the Ecological Self.
I’ve been working on these books for the last five years and have created over 40 books. They range from ten to forty pages, with the majority being about twenty pages. These are not “artist’s books” in the way the term is used today. They are not necessarily meant for exhibition and are often made out of scraps, materials at hand or other books. Most of the symbols and images are related to nature and how we create meaning from nature.
Many of us claim we feel disconnected from nature. I am convinced that understanding how much of our symbolic language draws its meaning from nature is one of the paths to healing this divide. My hope is that, through this work, I will be able to inspire others to discover their significant images or symbols that speak to their deep relationship with land, place and ultimately all of nature.