Through the gift, I am reborn with new eyes
Colours pop as clouds swirl high in the skies
An abundance of material, so much to choose!
Inspiration ignites the vision, emerging from the muse.
A couple of weeks ago I fell in love with a gift. A seed was planted after watching the documentary, “Rivers and Tides”, featuring the creations of Andy Goldsworthy. The moment I started making my first piece of ‘Nature Art’, I knew I was going to be making many more; I had found one of my elements. I have since decided to also call it ‘Nurture Art’, reflecting the deep nourishment that fills me while I am in the creation flow. Hours will fly by with my attention totally absorbed in the spontaneous emergence of this interplay with nature.
My process first involves connecting with the land. I do this by checking into all of my senses while I walk around barefoot. I listen to the sounds around me, open my visual scope to detect more subtle shapes and toning, breath deep to take in the air and smells, pick up and move things, and eat a plant if I feel called to it. After I have pulled together the sense information and felt into the surroundings, visuals begin to pop out all around me. An abundance of inspiration! Creative potentials sharing their desire to manifest through me.
I have so far only used decomposing materials from nature in each creation. Respecting the living beings, by letting them be, has felt right to me. Nurture Art is a gift that I can give anywhere. I bend and contort myself into various positions, working my whole body for hours. It requires focus and an infinitude of patience – the fragility of creating ‘on the edge’ with such temporary designs means completion might take many attempts and may not even happen. The elements can often reset the creation and remind me to find joy in the process. The best part of all is that Nature Art is totally free to create!
It is difficult for me to capture in words the feelings that arise within me while I create Nurture Art. I connect to the Earth and my environment at a depth I had not yet experienced in life. Teachings about reality, the world, balance, nature, flow, and cycles are given as I explore new worlds within worlds. In that moment it feels like everything that has ever happened in my life makes sense. Memories from my childhood come back as pieces fitting into the puzzle of my life. I am here, creating, and this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I am not really sure of what it is that I am doing, but it feels right.
On some level I feel that there is healing contained within the symbols of the art. The symbol’s healing power is charged through the creator’s hands and feet, heart and mind, attention and intention. I observe, then act in accordance with what I observed in nature. Inspiration holds me in a space of gratitude, peace, love, and compassion while I create, imprinting my intentions with each movement and breath. The creations are gifts to land, something from which we have taken much, and given little. I believe it is important to give back to the land from which we receive – it is keeping us alive after all.
Nurture Art is a personal ritual of restoring connection and balance long forgotten. It is a symbolic act of giving thanks that reunites the divide between art and life. I know I am doing good because I feel good doing it. Many times I will get a sense that the forest critters around me are watching the offering, filled with as much curiosity as I am to see the emerging creation. After many hours, my body sore, hands and feet dirty, I step back to take in the day’s devotion. Divides between art and life, symbol and reality, self and other, giver and receiver disintegrate as I witness the land receive and respond to the gift of love I have given.