René (after Magritte)
'René (after Magritte)'
In the forests of Waikanae where the leaf for this mask was collected, an entity who does not speak represents flora. A spirit of nature fixes us with a gaze in mute response to the environmental concerns of our world. Do we safely return the stare or will we look away and distract ourselves from the crucial truths of our behaviour?
Science has at long last declared that plants do indeed communicate, are inter-dependant and exchange information, between each other, insects and animals. They breath, they count, they rest. Plants provide countless essentials for humankind. Recently in our evolution and recent tenure as chiefs of the food chain we decided to stop concerning ourselves with other beings, to 'deny' their experience. Homo sapiens alone does this. We do this in isolation, loudly and individualised and disconnect ourselves from 'environment' itself via technology. We turn our backs on our own life support system and avoid the consequences that 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 with an holistic viewpoint: 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 also to blend in, to merge. The mask hides the wearer and as they become one with the forest, nature is simultaneously hidden yet revealed.
"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see." - René Magritte.
In Plants We Trust