Summer's fire releases with the exquisite
burst of fall leaves in New England - a
perfect moment to make art with the land.
Embrace in progress
My class, Exploring the Natural World, came
to RavenWood for a day of environmental art.
They were divided into three groups, each picked a
word out of a hat. The words were shelter, embrace
and flow. They picked a spot, and could use only
what they found on the land.
"Embrace" completed: embracing tree, embracing water.
All three groups used leaves in some way or another,
the color so astonishing in contrast to the green mosses
and brown trunks.
"Embrace" - a surprise burst of color from a distance.
Students sewing leaves together for "Flow".
We noticed how quickly the sun moves as places
that were chosen for the light were soon in shadow.
"Flow" the next day, having lost a section
of leaves to the wind in the night.
The chain of leaves mingles with submerged
mushrooms. After such a long drought, we had two
weeks of rain, over seven inches, and strange
things like underwater mushrooms!
"Flow" - detail of sewn leaves.
"Shelter" - an arch sheltering the path
down the hill.
"Shelter" - in progress.
"Shelter" and a moment of me spinning.
I've been offering this event for several years now,
I love what happens to the class as they work on the land.
When I first mention the mandatory Saturday field-trip to
my house an hour and a half away, I get some groans...
Once here, however, stress sinks into the leaf mould,
breathing is deeper, and eyes shine with a bit of the wild.
The following Monday at school, when reflecting on the day,
several students said they felt whole again.... and that
their roommates noticed. So, art is good, but wholeness,
well, what could be better?
Remembering with the land- that's how I think of it.
Re-membering - like Isis who travels the earth finding pieces
of Osiris, putting them together, and bringing him back
to life. Trees - and stones - sing me back to life.