While I Breathe, I Hope
Drawing Exhibition by Deborah Lomas
October 21, 2017 - April 8, 2018
Shumei Hall Gallery (MAP)
This exhibition is the result of over 30 years of pure love and respect for the many groups that make up the global tapestry of indigenous peoples. To me, these people are the greatest environmentalists.
One of the books that inspired me in my artistic endeavor was The Gaia Atlas of First Peoples. When invited to share my works at the Shumei International Institute, in Crestone, Colorado, I searched my book shelves to find the words that deeply spoke to me in the 1990's, when I was an angry young activist. I blew off the dust from the cover, opened it, and reread the foreword.
Our Earth is a vulnerable, abused place. Its opulent forests rapaciously felled, its rivers and oceans polluted. Its already degraded soils worked lifeless, its delicate envelope of atmosphere—the very basis for life on this planet is contaminated. In bending nature to our implacable will we are destroying her. Our material progress is achieved at the cost of passing on a wasteland to our grandchildren. As this turbulent century closes, we must radically alter our ways of life, patterns of consumption, systems of values, even the manner in which we organize our societies, if we are to ensure the survival of the Earth and ourselves. . . The world’s Indigenous peoples are the guardians of our fragile ecosystems, holding critical lessons that are vital to the wellbeing and future of our precious planet.
These words were written by a man whose name meant little to me back then, yet means so much to me now. Re-reading those words and recognizing his name now I am deeply moved. Maurice F. Strong. The man whose words had meant so much to me as a young girl had together with his wife Hanne donated the land in Crestone that now is the home of the Shumei International Institute, where this exhibition was first mounted. I only wish I could have thanked him personally for such a wonderful circle of serendipity.
The children that find their way onto my canvas seem to have a life of their own. I always begin with the eyes that seem to reach into my soul, allowing me to find a deeper connection to the earth. This exhibition then is a visual call to action. It is to continue that ancient call from deep within, where all is one. To feel that call, open our hearts, and love more.
About the Artist
Lomas was born in the north of England in1965. She studied art and
design and later co-founded Network 3, an agency for young illustrators
in Liverpool. Deborah has exhibited widely in her homeland and the
Makoto Taiko AI special concert
January 28, 2018