Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The Batsford Prize - Legends and Fables

I've spent a bit of time looking at Native American folklore and fables and have found some really interesting stuff! Initially I was looking for stories that related to the environment and our approach towards it but I found one that was a lot more interesting.
I've spent some time looking at a cherokee legend about Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
This fable teaches us about the power of choice, and how we can all make a personal decision to redirect negative thoughts and actions into positive ones if only we can recognise that we have the power to make that decision. 
I feel like this is a really great metaphor for our attitude towards the environment, we all have a personal choice and a global choice as to whether we continue to destroy and exploit our environment for our own personal greed or wether we take a step back and become more respectful and compassionate towards our environment in order to allow it to heal. I would really like to bring an element of this fable into my final image, I believe that in terms of our relationship with the environment we are now at a point where it is imperative that we make this choice for the benefit of our planet and in the long-term, ourselves. I also think i could start to bring some of the animal symbolism into this and I'd be really interested in incorporating an image of a snake into the print, as snakes typically represent healing and re-birth, something that our planet needs to do. 
My next steps will be to write up my rationale and then start to develop roughs and initial sketches. I'm feeling like this idea has a lot more context and more of a backstory behind it than my initial idea did. I also think it relates a lot more to the theme of 'interpreting nature' and 'our relationship with the environment' than just looking at endangered animals does, I feel like this way, I'm asking people to take a step back and look at their own choices and how they can make better decisions to better the condition of our environment and how we can make global choices that will benefit us all and also benefit the planet. 

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