Be Wise Stewards of Life on Earth
A Virtual Exhibit
There is a lot that we can do, each in our own way. We must not lose hope, we must not give up. Above all, we must share what we have learned, encourage our friends to help in this most vital task--the stewardship of the Earth.
- Jane Goodall
As artists whose work focuses on a critical representation of animal life and nature… Read more
As artists whose work focuses on a critical representation of animal life and naturethere is a lot we can do to ‘be wise stewards of life on earth’. We have made a conscious choice to create work that is more-than-human and in doing so we blur the boundaries, confront uncertainty and embrace unexpected outcomes. Often the more we learn the more it propels us, the more it becomes integral to our work. How as human artists, can we imagine and connect with the creative lives of other animal beings without hierarchy, without sentimentality? There are new progressive shifts in ideologies that are chipping away at the false dichotomies that have long separated us from them. We may not know what it is like to be a pig, a caterpillar or a pigeon, but we know that it is like something. Sentience lives in all of us.
Art has the potential to open mutable spaces within us for contemplation and critique. How do we engage our viewers to look deeper? As artists, we want to think outside, we want to envision justice, we want to question the dominant culture, because life on earth is a creative endeavor. This gives us hope and helps fuel our art as we look toward the vulnerable future together for our home, the Earth.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Jane O’Hara & Janell O’Rourke
Jane O’Hara is a painter and curator living in Providence RI. Her curatorial projects exist alongside her studio practice with focus on issues relating to animals’ disparate experience in society. Using surrealism she creates a narrative in her work to point out how the animal condition poses a duality - animals raised in captivity at odds with the casting of human traits on our pampered pets. Previous curatorial efforts include her exhibition Beasts of Burden with 14 artists using the animal as inspiration, first in Boston, then NYC during the Culture & Animals and Compassion Arts Festival. O’Hara embraced the world of virtual exhibitions with her Forget Me Not exhibition for the 2020 Compassion Arts Festival, and here, co-curates The Fifth Trust with artist curator Janell O’Rourke for the 2021 CAF.
Janell O’Rourke is an interdisciplinary artist who works in the field of critical animal studies. Through art making, she explores the mechanisms of unwarranted prejudices that objectify other animals and our relationships with them. As an eco-feminist artist, she recognizes non-human animal subjectivity and values diverse and non-hierarchal modes of being in the world. O’Rourke’s recent exhibitions include: Straight Through the Wall, a guerilla collective in New York City, and The Animal Museum in Los Angeles, CA. O’Rourke is a founding member of the artist coalition ArtAnimalAffect. She is a co-curator for What Does Art Add?: figuring the more-than-human world, based on the bookArtist/Animal by Steve Baker, at City Without Walls in Newark NJ,The Sexual Politics of Meat exhibition based on Carol J. Adams' book by the same name, at The Animal Museum, and she is a co-editor of the book,The Art of the Animal, published by Lantern Books.