In 2016 I travelled to Hormoz Island in Iran and discovered a world of rainbow coloured earth. That journey was the beginning of a huge transformation for me, not only in my art practice but in the way I view the world, my relationship to the Earth and my place here as a human being. It is humbling and awe-inspiring to stand with two feet on the earth, the earth we came from naked and pure, and witness how truly beautiful it is; how abundant in its beauty and wisdom; such a gift God has given us. I travelled through the island with locals, laughing, talking and sharing stories whilst hiking, climbing, digging, admiring, breathing, listening, learning and connecting. Discovering and collecting over 40 different colours of earth, I went on to make paint from these and used them to paint my 2017 exhibition. For that show, in celebration, I also created a pigment cabinet in which I framed a collection of earth I had gathered from Hormoz.
In my 2018 START Art fair exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, the pigment cabinet was met with such love, that I have decided to begin a series called 'earth for Earth' where, for every collection I paint, I will release one cabinet containing all the pigments I used to create that particular collection. All proceeds of that sale will go directly to some wonderful charities that dedicate their time to healing the Earth, animals and humans. In essence, it will be selling 'earth' to give back to the 'Earth', a beautiful cycle that reminds us we are all part of a bigger Whole.
Earth has abundantly given of herself in her beauty to be transformed into paint from which paintings are then created. Something from that must go back to the Earth. The balance should be reset. This journey I began three years ago, is still continuing now. It is a journey of discovery and transformation led by a feeling of nature-inspired awe. This sense of amazement affected my heart and ignited a desire to protect the Earth, to nurture and love and be more gentle with her.
Having taken from her, I need to ask what my gift to her is. I question if it is even acceptable for me to take so freely from her, even though I have tried to only take sparingly. I recognise a deep need to give back and my pigment cabinets are the beginning of a special journey of returning favours and living in a more conscious and greener way.