Sacred Environments: Photographic exhibition documents earthworks

Artist Susan Shanti Gibian explores the act of giving and receiving love, an exchange between Mother Earth and her peoples, in her environmental artworks.

The artist has created Earth-based installations – working with grass, stones, branches, tree stumps and leaves – which include nature carvings of heart, spiral and sunburst shapes.

The installations were created by removing invasive species of plants to form sculptures, and incorporate natural objects from the forest floor. The heart is a form that repeatedly presents itself in the artist’s site-specific work.

Susan Shanti Gibian’s site-specific installations, which were created in 2011 as part of the Ephemeral Wonders series, are now being documented in a photographic exhibition, entitled Sacred Environments. Sacred Environments will be exhibited at the Union Arts Center in Sparkill, New York from 21 May.

Susan Shanti Gibian says: “The grasses that I sculpt with are invasive grasses, which prevent more delicate native species of plants from thriving. Pulling these invasive grasses is a small act that I perform to restore balance to this environment.

“As I create a form I am struck by a sense of wonder and awe to see what precious treasure lies hidden beneath the grass. The forms that have emerged from the forest floor speak in a primal and universal language. They are symbols that resonate within the heart.”

The photographic exhibition, Sacred Environments, also documents the journey of creating the installations in the forest, including images of the environment before the artist began her work, as well as the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The New York native, who also teaches art and meditation, focuses on living from the wisdom of the heart. Sacred Environments seeks to convey the “inevitability of change, death and decay” through nature. Susan Shanti Gibian’s offering of love and gratitude for the Earth is reciprocated with peace and serenity.

Speaking about the inspiration behind her site-specific art installations, Susan Shanti Gibian says: “It arises from a feeling of gratitude and love for the earth, and for the peace and rejuvenation I receive when I am in the forest.

“It is here that I experience a profound connection and sense of oneness with nature. It is here that I am aware of my intimate relationship with the earth beneath my feet, the trees that silently bear witness to my presence, the stream that flows below the hill, as well as the birds, animals, and plants that reside here together in this fragile ecosystem.”

Sacred Environments is on display at the Union Arts Center in Sparkill, New York, from 21 May 2017 through to December

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable life & style, music, entertainments and wellbeing. Rosalind also works as a spiritual life coach and intuitive advisor helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives:


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