Judee Sandman's Harmony and Nebraska...

I am a Nebraskan artist. A 45 year old mother of 4 boys and this is not the norm of a six foot, one hundred and two pound model; That is exactly why I wore my work. Who sets the standards of beauty? (Media) I wanted to be camouflaged like Veruschka was in her photos. I am investigating the green sustainability connection with eco-feminism. The Native Cherokee have mutual respect for one another; it is believed that harmony in humanity directly effect the land we live with.

I created my dresses in 2006 and later that year I came across Veruschka's work. It inspired me to wear and photograph my work in their natural environment. I wanted us to be at one with nature. Another artist who inspires me is Ana Mendieta, who strongly embodied the connection between the female and the Mother Earth. She establishes a bond through her art that unites her to the universe; her work reaffirms my belief that between humanity and nature there exists an innate rapport.

Also Daniel G. Deffenbaugh, the Associate Professor of Religion at Hastings College and author of the book Learning the Language of the Fields. His book talks about the spiritual need that humans have to live in a reciprocal moral relationship with their biotic community.

Nature has always been a large part of my life; I was born in Boulder, CO and raised in the Rocky Mountains of WY. Part of my ancestry is Native American of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The Cherokee believe that harmony with, and respect towards mother nature was a necessity for the continuation of life.

My 14' structure is a female named, Harmony. If you look closely you will see her skirt has an opening that resembles that of a teepee. There is an experience to be found once you enter the opening in the dress. Once inside, the lights are dim and shadowy, but there is an awareness of that closeness you feel when clinging to your mother's dress.

The opening in her dress invites you into a warm and protected space. An admiration is created when entering the life bearing sacred womb of the pregnant female. The smell of nature is present in the faintly lighted bush you have crawled into for safety. You can see your surroundings due to the light that can still reach you. Its intention is to provoke contemplation of
life's cycle, equality, spirituality and the preservation of Mother Nature.

My arts intention is to provoke thought into the affinity of man and earth. I wear my work in its natural environment to reaffirm my connection to Gaia and the importance of our mutual respect for each other. There is an adamant need for a reciprocal relationship with mother nature; what has been taken and destroyed needs to be restored with reverence. I believe humanity's only survival is to live with respect, balance and harmony towards the mother earth. This is no longer a suggestion, it is a necessity for the continuation of life. It's time to do our part to help sustain her health, and ability to bear life; her health directly effects humanity's health, and our unborn children.

I believe Nature has an omnipresent that is transfused within its awe or wonderment. There is a spiritual connotation within the rhythms of the earth; when the rhythms are disturbed the omnipresence grows dim, for their is a great sadness. Man and his environment are a complex interacting dance, this dignified waltz needs to flow in concert through the law of respect. The earth is a living creation, but it can't dance when the rhythms become so altered that they stop playing.

My plans include creating jewelry and works of art from the natural elements that currently surround me in my Nebraska home. I am very pleased with the stone necklaces I have been making from rocks found along the banks of the Platte River. Another recent venture for me has been working with glass and "found art." Please look for my company, Ecomuse, online soon, and please feel free to contact me via e-mail for more information.

~ Judee Sandman
April 22nd 2008

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