In My Own Backyard, Kimberly Mehler
During Covid lockdown, I began a short daily painting exercise as a meditative practice to help cope with the stress of the news. I found that I was drawn to the variety of pine cones lying upon the ground, and quickly came to understand that remaining in one place encourages us to examine more closely what is right in front of us. I dove into the math and the metaphors, researched, and learned more about what I have come to call the extraordinary ordinary. Each pinecone is an individual in a long succession, reaching back many millenia. Like us, each is shaped by genetics and the environment, what we humans call Nature and Nurture. In a world where the carbon sequestration of trees and other plants may be what ultimately saves us from ourselves, we do not seem to truly appreciate that these pinecones, these bearers of seeds, these survivors, are priceless. Rather than seeing a trampled, squashed form, or something to kick, with this body of work that I have created I encourage you to look closely with renewed vision at the natural world, and those essential, significant, marvels hiding in plain sight all around us.
What do I see?
The world in a seed.
Underlying, Unifying, Universal.
Reaching Backwards, Stretching Forward.
The Ordinary Extraordinary.
Our planet may be damaged and fragile, but contained within the damage are the seeds of renewal. Let us see the sublime in the broken. Let us plant seeds. Let us create a more just and verdant world.