Vol 9 No 1 (2017)

Idioms of an Ecological Self

Rachelle Marie Chinnery
Published March 19, 2017


Cultivating an ecological identity is a process of learning to feel and think with the senses that involves undoing Western cultural norms. In order to arrive at a place of body-mind-nature awareness, we have to understand our own feeling-states and thought processes within Western cultural constructs such as academic learning, the medical model of physical and mental health, monotheistic religion, and our relationship—or lack thereof—with wilderness. I believe that a materials-based art practice can be the catalyst in undoing ingrained worldviews that generate unsustainable living practices, and that craft practice can reorient us to understanding ourselves as part of a biotic natural world. Craft can bridge the isolated cultural mind into the isolated and anaesthetized body. Understanding ourselves as indistinct from our ecological environment leads to more sustainable living practices with stronger individual, social, and global equanimity.