Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Daniel Dancer's Sky Art

"If we can make a creative crack in the world's deadly abstractions,
the divine will rush up bringing great bounty with it." 

Here's one of my favorite Green artists.  His medium?  People! His canvas?  The Earth!  I take the liberty of copying below from his website.

 Daniel Dancer, who lives in Oregon, became fascinated with sky art while traveling in South America in the 80's  and encountering the  Nazca Lines of Peru. When he returned home, he began working with Kansas field artist, Stan Herd, who creates giant images on the Earth by using a tractor as a paint brush and crops for color. 

One day, Daniel decided to bring an entire elementary school out to perform as beads on the headband of a 25 acre Indian head. . A decade later the parents of one of the "bead kids" told him that the experience taught him that things aren't always as they seem . . . that a Big Picture View of the world is really important!
450 children perform as "beads" on headband of  "The Native American,"
a 20 acre field image  by Stan Herd  (photo © Daniel Dancer 1989)
 In an earlier time, art was more than what someone else did for us to collect for the walls and tables of our homes. We were all artists and doing art was a part of life which connected us to the whole of nature.  Daniel Dancer's art, events and residencies are an effort to reclaim this way.  Whether crafted alone in a sacred manner upon the ravaged areas of Earth, or with a community of others, his way of art is medicine for ourselves and the Wild.  His  practice is a deep way to give thanks for the beauty which surrounds us and to seek forgiveness from Earth for the damage inflicted by humankind. Through story, intention and participation with others, each piece becomes a way to activate a healing responsiveness from our culture. Uncollectable, his works have real and intrinsic value...like Earth herself

Dancer's decade long photography work with Stan became the material for a five-year touring show with Exhibits USA called Fields in Focus: Art For the Sky, and a book called Crop Art and Other Earth Works. Daniel's fascination with developing humanity's big picture vision led him to work with Lighthawk (the environmental air force) aerially documenting the human impacts upon the natural world. His interest guided him across the continent in the creation of varied found art works upon the Earth that made the most sense when viewed from above. Believing that "only from the sky can we truly understand our rightful fit in the world," Daniel's mission is to awaken what he calls "sky-sightedness". To awaken this way of seeing the world he founded Art For the Sky in 2000.
Daniel's work as a conceptual artist and educator has been shaped by his travels worldwide in search of styles of being that engender happiness and sustainability. His striking images of beauty and destruction have been published in hundreds of publications worldwide and viewed in galleries across America. It is precisely this interface between wild nature and devastation that most greatly informs his work and which led him to try to reach as many people as possible through sky art.  Working with communities from Alaska to Australia Dancer has documented his work in various ways. An Exhibits USA tour called Sacred Ground-Sacred Sky: An Eco-Experience became their second most requested show in its five year tour across the country. This 32 picture educational exhibit is currently seeking a permanent home where it can be on public display. All of Dancer's work to date is documented in his book, DESPERATE PRAYERS: A Quest for Sense in a Senseless Time. Dancer is the founder of Rowena Wilds, a 200 acre, eco-community near Hood River, Oregon where he lives in his Earth-sheltered home built of recycled and Earth friendly materials.  

Peace Dove with Rose, Portland, OR. 2002

Beyond the Sky - Grand Rapids, MI  2011

"This is the first of a 3D series of imagery called "Emergence." Here we see a mysterious "Pool
of Potential" that has opened up in the Earth, made up of children. Two giant albatross
are seen flying these "souls" into the reality of their birth . . . special souls that are visionary
and evolved and will help lead people into harmony with the planet and one another.
This is the first image where people play "themselves" rather than pixels on something else."


Polar Bear Sky - Culminating Maryland's Green School Youth Summit, 700 participants
form a polar bear standing on an tiny iceberg floating in the ocean . . . an iconic representataion of global warming. Maryland's Governor O'Malley is the lone man on the ice. The 350 in red is the number climate scientists say is the maximum parts per million of greenhouse gasses we can have in our atmosphere. It is now 390 and going up.


World Oceans Day in Victoria, BC 

 An endangered marbled murrelet made with 1000 students and teachers swims in a sea made of 1500 pairs of blue jeans and icebergs made of sheets. The 350 signifies the maximum parts per million of carbon we can have in our atmosphere to survive global warming.

Sky Whale, NSW Australia, 2007
A humpback whale made of bark chips and sand was built for the finale of the 5 Lands Walk. This annual festival is a 10K "walkabout" along a coastal path that knits five communities together in celebration of nature at the height of the humpback whale migration. 
Butte College, California sustainability students depict a raven flying over Earth as the polar ice caps are melting. Raven has a message: Achieve a ceiling 350 parts per million of carbon in our atmosphere or risk climate catastrophe. Fall, 2009.

Dancing Crane. Hinkle Middle School 5th graders bow down before the image
of a sandhill crane created out of mulch, in a ceremony to welcome these great
birds to the the soon to be restored Snowden Wetlands near White Salmon, WA.
A collaboration with Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute (2008)

bidder 70
Power to the Peaceful
On February 28th, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah, activists took to the streets to sing, march and do sky art in a display of solidarity with Tim DeChristopher, aka "bidder 70", whose trial for civil disobedience in defense of Utah wilderness and climate justice began that day.

Raising the Dove peace mandala during Alliance for Peace Conference
in Vancouver, WA. 2008  (see 90 sec. movie)

Daniel Dancer's book shares his travels as he creates healing art in ten endangered ecosystems. He reflects on spirituality, indigenous knowledge, quantum physics, psychology, and ecological principles. The result is a  hopeful gift for apocalyptic times. Entertaining,  and beautifully illustrated.

1 comment:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

These are stunning! And the 3-D effect is eye-catching.