On first reflection of the subject of ‘rest’, I wondered how it related to my work. On seconds thoughts, I saw that it was intrinsically connected. Recuperation time is almost always associated with interacting with nature in some way , which is the underlying subject of my work.
Most people will make time to go on holiday to be by the sea , a day in the forest, a visit to the park or maybe a retreat to the mountains, even simply going into the garden. The benefits of going somewhere to be in the same environment as nature seems to promote relaxation and rejuvenation.
In recent years Forest Bathing has became part of a national health programme in Japan where people go just to be with trees,the point is to relax. In addition,forest air doesn’t just feel fresher and better but inhaling phytoncide seems to actually improve immune system function.
Grounding is also quickly earning recognition and has been practised since the beginning of time, because of the health benefits but it is also recognised as a way to relax and relieve stress. Going back to the basics by reconnecting with the ground beneath your feet and soaking up the earth’s power seems to make sense.
Stargazing is another way of regaining perspective and relaxation. Simply looking at the vast expanse can calm your soul.
Then there’s the well known relaxing benefits of stroking your cat or dog and being in the presence of animals, birds, and plants.
At the end of the day if you can’t get out to experience the real thing, there is a multitude of nature sound recordings that prompt the brain into thinking and feeling relaxed. The benefits can be just as impressive as actually being there. Makes you wonder if it’s all the mind after all and questions arise like, ‘What is it that is really real ?’
Undoubtedly, there is good reason why humans gravitate to nature to rest but an explanation as to why is not so easy to pin down and also quite complex.
My work draws attention to the phenomena and I remain actively open to my surroundings and document with my camera and senses. Each experience is like a precursor to drawing, which often ends up being manipulated or superimposed onto an image I value.
I hope the work can provide a glimpse of my personal interpretation of the invisible power that emanates from nature and touches human beings even though it is a force that is very elusive.
Find Elli here: www.ellilestas.com