René (after Magritte)
In a forest in Waikanae where the leaf for this mask was collected, an entity who does not speak represents flora. The guardian fixes us with a gaze, a mute invitation. Do we safely return the stare or do we look away, distract ourselves from crucial truths in our behaviour?
Science has at long last declared that plants do indeed communicate, are inter-dependant and exchange information between each other and the insects and animals. Plants breath, they count, they rest.
Plants generously provide legion essentials for humankind. Recently in our own evolution as head of the food chain we decided to stop concerning ourselves with other beings, to 'deny' their experience of sentience. Homo sapiens alone does this. We do this in isolation loudly and individualised and disconnect ourselves from nature via technology. We turn our backs on our life support system, avoid the consequences that would stare us in the face.
Contrarily in this photograph a mute form faces us directly. An homogenous character wearing bowler hat and safari suit challenges us holistically:
Read, sense, embrace the inter-connectedness of all things. Look to see yourself in that which you do not yet understand. Reveal your nature.
Magritte used the bowler hat to express anonymity and I use the safari suit to also blend, merge and connect. The mask hides the wearer and as they fuse with the forest nature is simultaneously hidden yet revealed.
In Plants We Trust