burned forest (consoling your soul)mixed media assemblage, wax on panel
© Yuko Ishii www.yukoishii.com
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Artist Statement for Burned Forest (Consoling Your Soul)
In recent years, Washington state has suffered from record-breaking heat, devastating drought and widespread forest fires. My sacred mountains were also burned last August. It was devastating, yet really beautiful.
October, 2000 - I visited Riverside, WA for the first time in my life.
October, 2013 - I said goodbye to my mountain life of 12 years, and moved to Seattle.
August, 2015 - We cried over the phone...the Tunk Block fire (part of the Okanogan Complex fire) swept through our precious forest. It burned my ex-husband’s house, garage, my art studio, and everything.
November, 2015 - I finally returned to my sacred home to console all the souls of trees and animals that died in fire. In this great nature all I can do is to create art and pray for the mountains. Through my new series entitled Consoling the Souls, I am also supporting new generations of wildlife and forest regeneration.
Consoling the Souls I
I was deeply overwhelmed by the devastating aftermath,
and felt what I had never felt before
between shadow & light of the burned trees:
something intense and pure, sensuous, rising,
like the birds spinning toward the shining sky.
In the heart of this flame
all my painful memories were fading away.
Catch me now between the destruction and the new beginning.
What it tells me is how I have been loved.
I must love in return with all I have carried.
What we need is here -
Nature knows the way of truth,
the path to the divine oneness.
Breath to breath,
let my heart awake.
With golden revelation
I am slowly healed in beauty.
~ Yuko Ishii