Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sending Prayers

This sculpture was created just two days ago, right in the middle of the biggest humanitarian and ethical crisis we have faced in quite some time. It is both a prayer and an offering.

I will be making prints of this image available as a fund-raiser for Japan relief. It will take me a few days to get this organized, but I will let you know when this becomes available if you are interested in supporting this project and/or getting a copy of this image. The low-res version that is posted here lacks the subtle delicacy this image has in high resolution. The prints will be very nice and sharp.

A few words about how I made the piece in a moment, but first things first. The nuclear situation in Japan is, I believe, very dire. More so than is being reported in the media. I would ask that everyone who participates in any kind of intention setting activities to focus on a best possible outcome for the people and the environment regarding the nuclear plant. It seems that this week-end is a make or break moment for us collectively and all prayers and intentions could really be useful now. Many people will be gathering for Equinox circles and celebrations. Others are preparing for other Holy day festivities according to their beliefs. Sending prayers for a good outcome could really make the difference now, maybe even ALL the difference. Please , if you can, set aside some time to give this your attention.

How this piece came to be: I was cleaning up my studio on Friday, the day of the earthquake and tsunami. I found a bucket that had a bunch of leaves in it from this past fall. All the leaves were brown and dry. But in the bottom, I found a zip-lock bag with the dried leaves from a Japanese Maple tree I had hoped to use. They were tightly curled up and very brittle, but they were very red. I suddenly had an inspiration. I wondered if they could become flexible again if I poured warm water on them, like one does with tea. I tried it, and it worked. After about 30 minutes in warm water, I could separate out the individual leaves.
Out in the cold garage, I had a disc of ice that I had made a few days before. I did not know at the time what I was going to do with it, but now I knew.
I took the wet leaves and laid them on the ice disc and let them freeze to the ice. The next day, we had a sunny day but it was too warm and windy to take it out to photograph. I waited till sunset when the temps began to drop and the winds settled a little. I had hoped I might get the rising moon somehow, but we are a few days too early for that. When the sun went down it was a rather grey sunset and I was a bit disappointed. But I waited a little longer. I've learned that sometimes there is a flood of colour after the sun goes down. The waiting worked, a flush of golden orange appeared and I was able to get the shots I had hoped for.
When I reflected on the whole experience, finding the Japanese maple leaves on that very day when Japan lost so much, I knew the two events were connected. I also knew I wanted to use this image as a special fund-raiser for Japan relief... so I'll be working on making that happen very soon. And... I think this may be the cover for my hardcover book project which, I discovered when I came home from this shoot, had reached the funding goal. I am so humbled by all these events. Thank you.

Please set some time aside, particularly in the next 4 days to envision a positive outcome for the nuclear situation in Japan.


Anna Lear said...

So, so beautiful -- both the piece and your intent in making it. I'll be back for a print. Would it be okay if I posted this on my blog, with a link back to you?

Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Dear Anna,

Absolutely !!

And thank you so very much!!


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