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  • Julia

Souvenirs for the Present - current exhibition continues until June 26,2022 at NRCG Ballina

Souvenirs for the Present takes viewers on a walk through varying landscapes offering up souvenirs; documenting something to behold while reflecting a changing landscape back on to the viewer to contemplate and embrace. It is also a journey into that landscape, whether it be through stories, memory or walking. By connecting with nature and seeking solace in nature, we can better connect with ourselves and others while hopefully lessening our eco-anxiety.

Many of us have been living in a quiet desolation about loss of landscape; the destruction from bush fires, land clearing, loss of wetlands and effects floods and drought Some may recognise the syndrome where detachment from nature leaves us feeling powerless and disconnected from others and ourselves. Many people have expressed distress about the state of the environment. There is now a word to describe this sea of emotions- solastalgia.

Solastalgia describes in detail an emotion of loss and negative feelings about the environment and has now become one of the defining emotions of the 21st century. The concept of this relatively new condition was developed by Australian sciencetist Glenn Albrecht in 2006 to better explain the anxiety and despair that may be experienced by those whose homes, lands, and communities are subjected to adverse or unforeseen environmental changes.

I hope Souvenirs for the Present provides a window into the possibilities of improved well-being through the benefits of being in and connecting wth nature. The restorative power of the natural world is real. While we may not be able to feel overly optimistic about the future of the earth and our place in it, we can grasp moments of beauty as solace to sustain us.

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