Throughout my life I have been in constant awe and wonder of the beauty and profound complexity of nature around me. The main focus of my work is an awareness of the emotions which nature gives me, while evoking a deeper relationship to ourselves and our surroundings. As inhabitants of this planet we do not only draw energy from our surroundings, but also inspiration.
Our modern times has mostly disconnected us from each other, from nature and from our true self. I believe this disconnection and lack of understanding of how everything intertwines, has led to our abuse of the Earth. We have allowed our awe to get subdued by living busy consumer-oriented lifestyles. We have come to see our planet as a mine to extract the resources, and as a dumping site for waste.
By investigating nature, I am forced to investigate and re-evaluate myself and reflect on my role and purpose of being, and my place in the universe. I ask questions like how do things connect, where do we fit in, what is our responsibility, and why are we battling to be custodians of our beautiful, but threatened earth. This self investigation rarely leads to definitive answers, but makes us more aware of our surroundings and our interdependence with nature. Our precious Earth is borrowed to us and it is our duty to appreciate, preserve and look after it, just as it looks after us.
By raising awareness, I intend to encourage a responsibility in our instinctive behaviours, that will sustain a healthier world. I want my work to make an emotional impact on the viewer as to the beauty of nature, while simultaneously emphasizing the oneness of us all.
Annemie Odendaal (South Africa) is in residency in the Cité internationale des arts through the programme of the South African Artistic Association for Visual Arts
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