Dust to Dust, 2018
Dust to Dust. Aside from biblical texts and funeral ceremonies suggesting the cyclicity of life and death, the phrase has ecological significance today: it refers to the entire environmental impact of a manufactured item, from the extraction of raw materials from the earth to the their disposal as landfill. The title for the series was chosen to symbolize the fragile state of nature today when we are faced with mass extinctions of animals and dramatic climate change.
SofijaSilvia is native from the region of Istria, Croatia, and it was comforting to her to find nature in Kuberton so full of life and in such a pristine state. The series is a collection of introspective records of nature and traces left behind by a dramatically declining human population. It opens questions about finding balance between humans and nature, a harmonious way of living where people can survive and make a living in this rural area, but still preserve nature intact, fully acknowledging their dependence on it, biological, but also philosophical and poetic.
Nature has been enslaved many centuries ago when it was perceived as something to be controlled and dominated by man: „I am come in very truth leading to you nature with all her children to bind her to your service and make her your slave.“, Francis Bacon, The Masculine Birth of Time, 1603. What we need today is an egalitarian perspective.
The artist explores human relationship with nature and the environment, but also heritage, reflecting on the history of these relationships. Our actions are dramatically affecting the environment, and climate change is becoming so obvious that it is impossible not to understand how alarming the situation is. Humanity is at a turning point, the way we deal with heritage, the environment - nature, animals - and in general, must change if we want to survive. We have new responsibilities that require a different consciousness and sensibility. Raising awareness about the interconnectedness between people and nature is the priority.
Throughout the series, there are images of the Cotinus coggygria reappearing, the plant was in full bloom during the artist‘s residency. It is also called the Smoke tree. The symbolism of smoke serves well as metaphor. In various traditions it symbolizes the lifting of the spirit, the connection of earth and the sky - therefore the unity of the universe - a breathing of a being - in this case Earth; but it can also symbolize the other side of the coin, the destruction of nature by humans, the treat of it ‚going up in smoke‘.