“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
– Eleonora Duse
Discovering the Ecological Self
In a world where billions of tons of waste is produced annually, it can be easy to forget about how connected to nature we are. That is why Discovering the Ecological Self, a Social Practice project developed and led by artist Kimberly Callas, is centered around reconnecting people with the world around them. It is a collaboration of the artist, the Aslan Youth Ministry, faculty and students from the Science Department at Monmouth University, and additional very helpful volunteers, along with the funding that made the project possible. Each year, the project follows a different theme such as the ocean or trees. Discovering the Ecological Self takes individuals’ personal experiences with nature and looks for personally significant symbols and images to create artwork from.
To discover these symbols and create the works of art, we research each year’s topic and its scientific processes – this opens up a deeper understanding and connection to nature. The research and learning occurred through workshops and field visits that are focused on nature-based topics surrounding the main theme. The final piece of the project is the actual art-making, where we make artworks, eco-masks, and narration that can be whatever the heart desires; the art is then shared via exhibits, performances, videos, and environmental actions. Through learning about the environment and creating art from the new knowledge, we are lead to a better understanding of our own Ecological Selves. Recognizing and understanding our Ecological Self and our strong connection to nature is a key factor in not only promoting, but taking sustainable action. Discovering the Ecological Self is meant to re-awaken our relationship with the world around us and create a deeper understanding of our role in nature as a participant, along with our responsibility to care for it.
To get involved…
To participate in Discovering the Ecological Self, you can the Survey. Discover your own significant images and symbols in nature, start to dig deeper into your own ecological self, and find where you want to place your care for nature. Realize your own call for environmental and sustainable action.
To read more about Discovering the Ecological Self and Social Practice…
Head over to the About page. There, you will find a detailed description of the project, read about the basics of Social Practice, learn a bit about the artist, and more.