I recently took a class called Shamanic and Ecological Medicine: Nature as Healer by Connie Grauds through the International University of Professional Studies. Besides being one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken, Prof. Grauds said something very interesting and quite profound: "You do not conserve or preserve something you don't love." Although that might seem quite straight forward and simple, it really struck me, and it is undeniably true.
Through the pandemic I have found myself struggling a bit as an artist, trying to figure out where my place is in this world when careers/job choices were all of a sudden placed at an extreme hierarchy of importance (artist being at the bottom). Rightfully so, scientists and healthcare workers were placed at the top, and a new found respect for essential workers (those who work in shipping, grocery stores, fast food, etc.) was brought to light. As I wavered in my confusion on where art and artists stand in the world, I came to the understanding that it does not matter what you do in life, just do it with love. Serve with love. My service of love to this world has always been art. I took a couple detours through psychology and anthrozoology, both of which have given me a greater knowledge of humans and our relationships to the non-human animal world, but I have always returned to my art.
So, I am beginning a new mixed media series. This is a series that not only celebrates the beauty of the wild horses that roam the United States, but also brings to light the plight of these horses under current laws and special interest groups that are threatening to steal their land (and already have).
According to the American Wild Horse Campaign: "Each year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, spends more than $80 million to round up thousands of wild horses and burros with helicopters from our public lands and ship them to holding pens and pastures where taxpayers must pay to house and feed them. A small percentage will be adopted, but most will remain in holding pens and pastures for life, which for an equine can span 30 years... Pressure from special interests -- particularly the powerful livestock industry, which competes for resources on public lands -- drives the BLM’s inhumane and unsustainable wild horse and burro roundup policies.
Once wild horses and burros are captured, they're replaced on public lands by privately-owned cattle and sheep, as a part of taxpayer-subsidized public lands ranching."
Read more here: https://americanwildhorsecampaign.org/
American Beauty. Mixed Media. 36in x 48in
As I continue to learn more about the ins and outs of wild horse management and what we can all do to help them remain wild and free, I hope that you will join me on this artistic and educational journey. I will be sharing some of my process on here through blog posts, but if you want to see real-time updates, please join me on Instagram @jenwincreations or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jenwincreations.
I'm excited for this new series, and I hope you are too!
"Helping, fixing, and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the whole of the soul." -- Naomi Remen, MD.