The EARTH CHARTER promotes the contribution of the arts, humanities and the sciences in sustainability education - at this unique event, we discovered our inner child and connection to nature.
The year 2020 has brought with it significant challenges and changes. It is also a year when we find ourselves at a junction of several eminent anniversaries.
Vienna as a global metropolis partially situated in the Biosphere Reserve is not only something special, but also unique anywhere in the world. Biosphere Reserves are all about improving the relationship between people and their local environment, globally. They are sites created by UNESCO that find creative ways for people and nature to thrive together. They act as extraordinary testing grounds to put into practice a revolutionary approach to managing our ecosystems sustainably. Furthermore, interacting with nature is recognized as one way to build resilience and improve emotional well-being and mental health.
October 10th marked the World Mental Health Day 2020. To commemorate, we decided to explore the role that art and nature hold in preventing and alleviating mental health issues. The World Health Organization set the goal for this year's WMHD to be increased investment in mental health. Wondering why now? How does this pertains to your life? Let’s see. Stress and uncertainty amidst a global pandemic. Drastic changes in our social fabric and pace of life during the subsequent lockdowns. Depression, anxiety, fear looming over more and more people. Isolation, confinement and rearranged responsibilities. Our habitual way of life may be derailed or on hold, but the unforgiving stimulus to take care of our mental health is not. We see undeniable evidence of how intertwined our physical and mental state are and how it is vital to protect and invest in both.
SHELTER UNDER THE WILLOWS by Judit Flamich
“Shelter under the willows” is a collection of my five recent works. The colourful canvases depict similar locations in different parts of Europe, showing the parallel between these, for me, sacred places. Among them are the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, University College Dublin, Türkenschanzpark and Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark in Vienna. The latter are in the 18th district of Vienna, where I live and work. It is very important for me to find peace and forgiveness close to home. The inside of a willow tree is like a protective shield of nature. Once inside, the feeling of tranquility washes over you, fortified by the downwards facing branches. That energy travels through the environment and the person inside the willow tree, core to limbs. My favourite element is where the branches stroke the surface of the water. This touch represents the ephemeral border to and from reality and reflection. A bright and a dark side, slumbering but present in all of us. This thin line can keep someone from jumping over barriers or from sinking into the abyss. This is how art helps me stay afloat.