‘Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.’ – Hubert Reeves
For thousands of years, nature was central to religion and peoples’ lives. However, people have have increasingly taken steps to separate ourselves from the natural world, all the while exerting a greater pressure on it. We pray to invisible human gods and thank them for our lives now, whilst passing over the destruction of the natural world that supports life now and for future generations.
From the irreversible loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction that supports entire ecosystems and drives humans into closer contact with novel, deadly pathogens, to air and water pollution, soil degradation, and so on, the signs of negative human impact on the natural world are everywhere. While difficult to comprehend in a globalised world, each of these are elements that represent a serious threat not only to the survival of animal and plant species, but also humankind’s.
This piece was intended to mirror the way we look through rose-tinted lenses at the natural world. At first glace this piece aims to depict a relaxed, calm scene, with a personification of Gaia sits surrounded by an idealised clearing with native animals plants. However, the signs of decay are everywhere. The blooming plants conceal a base of poisonous-to-man plants, the animals are scared and injured, ancesteral trees silently wail for their lost kin, while even more are marked for felling, carrion crows circle hungrily above as the doomsday clock records its latest position.
The signs are everywhere.