[ leia o texto em português aqui :) ]
"nature is crying out loud
...and I can hear the calling."
For a long time now I have used my art as a personal way of getting to know myself better. A process of diving inside, of understanding, of acknowledging. My own meditation. My own therapy. I have been building a business around my art. I proved - to myself - that it was possible to live from my art. People still doubt it when I say I live from it. I used to get mad and wanted to scream out loud that it is possible - if you make the right connections and have the discipline and determination. I stopped screaming out loud. I needed silence, because what mattered was that deep down in my heart I knew it was possible. I decided to keep going. I have gone through a lot of changes in the past years. Physical, but mainly emotional and psychological. Really deep stuff. The thing is, I heard my own calling. My intuition. And it has reconnected me to Nature. To my own nature. And the moment has come to go beyond my own physical limits, and actually use my art for a bigger purpose. To connect it to the world around me. To my spheres. To my surroundings, to the planet, to the environment. Nature - is my own nature too. And it’s yours too, you know?
I realised the time had come to question a few things. To go a little beyond. And when I got a message from my sister, who lives in Australia, a few weeks ago, with a picture of her yard - all bathed in red light. It wasn't a filter, it wasn't painted - it was a reflection of the fires that were surrounding the city she lives in. I started connecting dots in my head, while being immersed in the silence of the mountains up here in the Swiss Alps. A moment in my life where I have been connecting more to my essence, hearing the sound of silence. And this was the moment I heard the calling. My art and nature are connected. A bridge to consciousness, a bridge to an awakening. It was once my own awakening, but now I want to use it to help other creatures. Humans and animals. We are all interconnected. We are all one.
This is when I decided to create a movement that connects art, awareness, nature and a very personal scenario.
“When I looked out the window, I thought the world was ending. I've never felt so scared.” - said my sister, who is currently living in Port Macquarie, Australia.
The bushfires around Australia are just one part of the problem. The country is going through an immense drought period. It has been going on for years. Families (that I know closely) are having to change their entire lives. Farms don't have fresh grass anymore to feed their cattle. Rivers are dry. The food for the animals isn't enough anymore. The fires are destroying a big part of what is left. Animals are becoming extinct. Others are fleeing to the cities, because they don't have homes in the forest anymore. Humans are fleeing from cities, because the fires are coming their way. We are all interconnected. The destruction of one leads to the destruction of the others. And then you have business’ wanting to grow, wanting to make money. Real estate is a growing market in Australia. Buying lands and building on them. Removing important trees - with the promise that they will plant some others.
“There is a real estate business not far from here, that wants to build this huge complex of buildings. There are many trees that will have to be cut off - among them around 10 trees that are Koalas main nourishment. The company is saying they will cut them off, but they will plant a few on another land nearby. What they are not telling people is that these trees take around 10 years to actually have nourishment for the Koalas.”
Is there really a thought behind this statement this company is making? In ten years, if the Koalas have no food now, they won't even exist anymore. And then what? What will be the story they will tell?
Human choices are affecting the health of the ecosystems.
Big movements can make a change - but my question at this point was - what about the small attitudes. Our daily choices. What is in our power to become an agent of change inside our own spheres. I am far away from my sister and her family right now. They are there, immersed in drought, living a moment of water warning - which means they have to spare as much water as they can. Rain is scarce. There are still many fires coming and going. Hoses are not allowed. Watering plants is not allowed. Showers are as short as possible. Using swimming pools is not allowed. And while they live that, I am up here, living in the mountains, where snow is melting fast, but yet water is not really a problem. I see jets flying in almost daily for peoples winter ski vacations. We are both living in first world countries - what about all the other world problems? We are actually lucky. But yet, while making a little hike to a glacier nearby from where I am located I found plastic bags just lying there on the snow. I started picking them up. And decided that the small steps are the ones that matter right now. I don’t have the power or the resources to change the whole world in a day. So this movement I am launching is just one step - is just one plastic bag I pick up from the floor - with the intention to build a ladder, to give hands to other humans that think alike. Slowly building a chain. Slowly creating change with what I have in hands right now. The collected plastic bags that bother me immensely - but also my art. It is a tool. A tool that I can - and want to use to enhance people's perception, to awaken consciousness and to help those in need. Right now.
That is why I’ve created a series of illustrations that represent this moment in Australia. The fire, the drought and the power of nature - and of humans - to awaken - and to grow again. I have chosen a few Australian animals as background for this movement. Some are more known - such as the kangaroos and the koalas. Some you might not even have heard about, such as the Platypus or the Echidna. Some are suffering more than others. Some are just hiding away wherever they find a bit of water.
I’ll share some stories so you have a little more of context:
Kangaroos are actually like a plague in Australia. There are so many of them and they reproduce fast. And even so, they are suffering. My sister saw a post on social media of an acquainted, that had just spotted a kangaroo in her yard. Well, that could be a common phrase, that could happen at whatever time of the year. The thing is the little one was not just happily hopping by, but eating a piece of cardboard. There is a lack of food.
Koalas are in real danger. As I cited above a quick story about real estate developments, but there are also other examples. There are around 200 species of Eucalyptus trees in Australia. So you think “cool so that's what they eat” - they are fine. Well, not exactly. From these 200 species or so, there are only 10 types they actually get their nourishment. And guess what, they are either being burned down, or being cut by companies. Where my sister lives, there is a Koala Hospital, which helps the little ones to recover from injuries, from burned body pieces, from lung problems due to smoke, from being run over by cars from time to time. They are moved by volunteers only, and right now, these humans have been travelling many kilometres to try finding reminiscent trees of the Eucalyptus they do eat. They need nourishment to get well again. And that is not very easy to find at the moment.
Platypus is a prehistoric species. And do you where they live? In rivers. And as I said up there, the country is going through an immense drought. And rivers are drying out - such as the one of the family I cited - which had Platypus living in. And where did the Platypus go? Well, nowhere. They are endangered.
Echidnas - what a cute little animal. It’s a type of porcupine. They have been running away from the forests too. And have been running into cities, looking for food and water. A friend of my sisters, who has a little farm, and a type of water reservoir, which is made of a soft material, felt this change. They were being aware of water consumption, and also storing as much as they could, in order to give water to their own farm animals to survive. One morning the reservoir was all empty. They had to go after the cause, and they found one little Echidna living right underneath the reservoir. He was looking for a protected area, a humid area. And well, his own little spikes created a leaking in the reservoir - and all the water was gone. In the context I heard this story I had to laugh. I guess it was a mix of feelings - of “shit poor thing” to “shit they lost their whole water reservoir”. It was funny in the context, but really, it's tragic. Poor little creature, that was just trying to save himself, and ended up hurting a whole other part of the chain. Yes, we are all interconnected.
Wombats, Bilbies, Dingos and so many other local animals. Insects such as bees. Birds in general. The whole chain is being affected. Until when - and until where will they have to run or fly to find shelter and food? To keep on doing their business in the cycle of nature. To feed and be nourishment inside a balanced ecosystem.
The illustrations were done on black paper - which is a symbol of a silent death, the burning down of homes. A grieving and the running away of a reality. The copper lines represent the fire - that is burning down things - but that also runs in our veins. The power, the energy that we can use within our contexts to be the change. And the white, as a symbol of life and peace. There are always white pages that can be filled with new stories.
In this movement, I created 9 A4 pieces, which have a base price of AU$100 (R$420). The action will work as a kind of auction - and will be on for 9 days - as of Friday February 1st - for a period of 10 days. Bid for the piece of art - bid to help nature. The highest bid will get the piece delivered to your home - wherever you are located. A 100% of what I collect for these art pieces, will be donated to a local institution in Australia. Together with my sister we are choosing one that can have a real impact, by uniting the strength (the fire) of humans and the next steps for nature. It’s not only about saving the situation after a destruction, but also the creation of the awareness of what is to come. To be held accountable for our own actions. To be the example. There are institutions such as the Port Macquarie Sustainability Network, Impact Environmental, The Nature School or even the Koala Hospital. We are in a moment of evaluating the best strategy and the best way of reaching out at this point. Every step of this action will be shared with you in the most transparent way. I will share with you every step of the pieces being sold, to the gathering of this money - until it reaches its final destination. And whatever comes next. Follow me on my social networks for all the details of this movement.
Not all the steps are yet clear to me, but I decided that it all starts now.
So I took the first step, of using my art as a way of healing of the sphere I have an influence in right now - through family and friends.
All the illustrations will be up on my Instagram tonight!
For more infos about the steps my sister is taking in her daily life, follow her.
We insert ourselves in so many bubbles throughout life. To make appearances, to belong and trying to be - something we are not often. Let's pop some bubbles.
While we live our own lives, we build these little patterns and prisons around ourselves without even acknowledging them. Beliefs, habits, comments, noises. From time to time it’s important to just step out and create a new perspective.
I was invited as a contributor. I connected. I participated in a few sessions, but was also part of the support team to the YIPs organising the forum. I was in front of the stage, but also standing behind the stage. I read between the lines and then drew lines on a panel that grew through the five days of the Forum.