Democratization of the Ecosystem, There is no hierarchy
As a child growing up in upstate New York, I often climbed a 40 feet tall evergreen. Swaying in its lofty bow, I imagined that I could dance with the clouds in the baby blue sky. In one memorable meditative moment, I concluded that people are inextricably connected to one another, and all of nature, and that we are all equally important players on the planet to keep each other healthy.
Inspired by this youthful spiritual experience, I began creating the series “Democratization of the Ecosystem, There is no hierarchy,” in 2016. Through a fusion of contemporary expressionist and surrealist painting and mixed media artwork, I examined 21st century narratives of equality, diversity, and identity combined with environmental sustainability and cultural connection. Although Garden-of-Eden-esque in nature, my artwork stimulated dialog about conflicting thought including overconsumption, global warming, de-forestation, and cultural diversity.
Fascinated by trans-disciplinary synergies, and grounded in a multi-cultural Jewish/Christian/French/Armenian background, and birthplace in Japan, I started investigating environmental beliefs rooted in various traditions. I added abstracted Biblical and Quran passages and words relevant to the environment, and imagery drawn from my travels, including several rich experiences visiting and living in Israel , and staying in Morocco for a month during Ramadan.
I have created innovative visual iconography of spiritually charged and digitally inspired cloud formations that command a presence among surrounding cityscape, landscape, and the figure. Drawn to the inorganic and organic, majestic rock and mountain formations, and indigenous animals are repeated images. Inspired by science and economics, I have inserted symbols from the periodic table and chaos theory exploring the connection between the primordial and the present, science and spirituality.
These passages are included in this series :
"But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; The birds of the sky, they will tell you, Or speak to the earth, it will teach you; The fish of the sea, they will inform you, Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?"
וְֽאוּלָ֗ם שְׁאַל־נָ֣א בְהֵמ֣וֹת וְתֹרֶ֑ךָּ וְע֥וֹף הַ֝שָּׁמַ֗יִם וְיַגֶּד־לָֽךְ׃ א֤וֹ שִׂ֣יחַ לָאָ֣רֶץ וְתֹרֶ֑ךָּ וִֽיסַפְּר֥וּ לְ֝ךָ֗ דְּגֵ֣י הַיָּֽם׃ מִ֭י לֹא־יָדַ֣ע בְּכָל־אֵ֑לֶּה כִּ֥י יַד־יְ֝הוָה עָ֣שְׂתָה זֹּֽאת׃
Job Chapter 12:7-9
"And it is He (God) who has made you stewards (khala'ifa) upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you.
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلاَئِفَ الأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
"And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered."
وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَا طَٰٓئِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلَّآ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم ۚ مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِى ٱلْكِتَٰبِ مِن شَىْءٍ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ
6 C Fish Tells
5 B Rams Relay
4 Be Earth Teaches
8 O Earth Says
7 N Bears Begin
9 F the Cow Cries
18" H x 24' W
Oil and Charcoal on Paper
2016 and 2017
2016-7 Copyright © Renee Rey. All rights reserved.
CLICK ON IMAGES TO VIEW COMPLETE ARTWORK
1 H and Sustaining
2 He and Sustaining
3 Li and Sustaining
84" H x 84" W Image
Oil and Charcoal on Unstretched Canvas
with 6" White Border
10 Ne and Sustaining Tayir
11 Na and Sustaining Khala'ifa
48" H x 30"W
Oil on Canvas