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MICHELLE JAMES

UK

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I am currently a 3rd year Art and Psychology student.

The focus of my paintings is on climate change and movement; conveying the constant flux of the earth’s energy, and the intense anxiety surrounding the current state of the planet. John Muir states that ‘When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world’; the interconnectivity between us and the state of the planet is a key message which I hoped to convey through painting, encouraging reflection on our role in the climate catastrophe at our doorstep.

 

With the current situation of the tragic pandemic, now is a time of slower movement and rumination. It is a time of realization of what is truly important in life and that we cannot continue in the manner in which we have been living. Too many of us have been going about our lives in ignorance, fixated on trivial things. Not realizing the significant difference that an individual can make. Instead, hoping that someone else will find some miraculous solution to climate change, as we carry on as usual. As Robert Macfarlane states: ‘We suppress wherever possible…the reminders that the world is greater than we …we have begun a turning away from a felt relationship with the natural world.’ This indifference was something that has baffled me for a long time. As we live in a digital world, that contributes to the crisis, we are continuously bombarded with images and statistics of the crisis to the point that it is trivialized and no longer shocking. People are aware of the situation; they just need time to fully digest and comprehend the complexity of it. I deliberately chose this non-digital format, of painting, to draw attention to this crisis with abstractions of global warming. The circular representation, that is present in all of my pieces, is intended as a space for reflection of one's personal interactions with the earth.

 

When exhibiting, I found that these paintings began the necessary conversations about the need to strive for consciousness in everyday actions, to achieve sustainable living. So, I hope that during this pandemic, while there is time to find alternative ways of living, these paintings can be a reminder to the viewer to do just that. And to take time to slow down and appreciate the beautiful world around us.

    © 2020 by Hansford and Sons Fine Art Ltd.

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