Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hangin’ On

This world has seen many changes since the birth of humankind. For many thousands of years humans lived in very simple ways: foraging for food, digging for roots, using simple tools to make clothing, tools and shelters. Then humans learned how to grow foods in cultivated fields, timber trees and keep livestock. This way of living lasted until around 1750 – then we learned how to create machine engines. Suddenly, humans began to dominate their environments and our relationship with the Earth changed.

Since that time the population of the world has grown from a few million people to almost eight billion. Many problems are facing future generations because of Industrialization: global warming, war, pollution, species extinction, and the list goes on. The very fabric of the Earth’s future is in a state of crisis. This painting is symbolic of the strength that is needed to ensure a peaceful future for this world.

The spirits of life are represented in the human figure, connecting it to the land and water of the Earth. Life on Earth would not exist if it were not for the energy of the sun; thus the spirit of life is connected to the symbol of the sun. The frame surrounding this image is broken, symbolizing the crisis that we now face, as the spirit of life is “Hangin’ On” for survival.

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Joanne and I were living in Nelson, BC, when I painted this coloured ink image. When I look at some of the sketches that I drew while designing this, I have to laugh. I was listening to a Doors song and Jim Morrison was singing “Not to touch the Earth…” and so, one of my ‘spirit of life’ guys was drawn as if he was using the moon for leverage so that he could get away from the Earth. I realized that this was not the message that I wanted to share. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – I wanted to inspire the ‘spirit of life’ guy to want to be a part of connecting with the thing that ultimately gives us life and to be able to recognize what needs to be improved to achieve harmony with life’s energy.

During this time, I was feeling a little lonely for a taste of the countryside – back home – and I felt a need to want to reconnect… so I mailed the original painting to a friend in Southern Ontario. This made me feel better!