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Portraits of the Ecological Self

Callas, Kimberly
Year Grant Awarded 2013

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State > ME Zip Code > 04921
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Is there an ‘ecological self’? Is there a place within us that remembers we are nature? Can this ‘self’ hold the answers about how to live sustainably within the cycles and limits of our home planet? I explore these questions through the sculptural art project Portraits of the Ecological Self.

In this series, the image of the self changes to include more than the physical body and now includes nature’s processes, rhythms and other species. This allows the viewer to think in terms of being interconnected with all of nature. I choose materials and images that have a particular resonance within the human psyche, like trees, mountains and birds, and link them symbolically with the body to communicate the subject of the work.

Through work with sustainability issues, I have realized, like many other environmental and sustainability specialists, that it is a very personal relationship to nature that is the real motivator to action. Yet, many of us feel disconnected or have forgotten this critical relationship. Through the project, Portraits of the Ecological Self, I bring this relationship to the surface, writing it into the skin. Perhaps, if we can rediscover these powerful connections, we can be inspired to act in ways that protect our loved places and species. This ideal is at the core of my sculptural artwork.