Lightness, Fire, Kelly Leahy Radding, egg tempera
Loyalty, Kelly Leahy Radding, Elk, Tule Elk, egg tempera
Illumination

 

Earth, Air, Fire & Water: Balancing on the Edge

If something is hanging in the balance, its future is uncertain. I feel strongly that nature is balancing at the edge of a cliff, perilously close to falling off the edge. Species are already extinct, more face extinction, and many more are endangered or vulnerable. Environments and habitats are threatened by many forces that include climate change, human development, and pollution. Hard-won environmental laws and protections are being challenged and overturned. Conservation and environmental programs are getting slashed or de-funded beyond what is sustainable. Ultimately there will be a point of no return and I fervently hope that we are not already there.

Many early cultures defined balance in both the physical and spiritual world through the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. They accepted those elements to be the outward, physical manifestation of the inward spiritual or archetypal essence. They believed these deeper meanings kept the physical world in harmony.

My own inner balance is preserved by spending time in nature and creating art that reflects my deep connection to that world. This is what keeps my world in harmony.  I create my work to not only honor that connection but to make a record of what could be lost if we don’t act now; if we don’t try everything in our power to keep all that is hanging in the balance from tipping over an irretrievable edge.

I have chosen to create four collections of paintings representing the four elements, each collection in a different medium. To create a balance within a balance, imagining a natural world that is spiritually and physically in harmony yet also acknowledging just how fragile that world is, under continual threat of loss.

My intention is to have my work create a connection not only to the physical beauty of the natural world that I love, but to reach a deeper understanding of our own essential connections to nature through the aspects of the four balanced elements of earth, air, fire and water.

Nature as we know it is hanging in the balance and it is our responsibility to help secure a more sustainable future for all of her flora and fauna.