Erica Gajewski

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ME: Why am I alive?

OLD WOMAN: Because everything else is.

ME: No. I mean the purpose.

OLD WOMAN: This is the purpose. To learn about your relatives.

ME: My family?

OLD WOMAN: Yes. The moon, stars, rocks, trees, plants, water, insects, birds, mammals. Your whole family. Learn about that relationship. How you're moving through time and space together. That's why you're alive. 

Richard Wagamese - Embers: One Ojibway's Meditation


 
 

 

STATEMENT


My work documents and highlights the lives of other animals, looking at the complex and significant ways in which we, humans, are bound and entangled together with them.


Animals have figured prominently in images painted by our ancestors on ancient cave walls. From this point onward they have been visual themes for human societies throughout the world. Our representations archive our thoughts and unearth a variety of frameworks that expose our observations, cultural interpretations, stories, and beliefs about their lives, and who we think they are. 


Through conceptually driven works, from drawings to paintings, soft sculpture and land based art projects, I seek to understand and honour the lives of other animals I see and live with. Understanding each animal as an individual couched within its species is an important aspect of my work. All human lives are, have been, will be, intricately interconnected with the more than human residents of earth - our lives are joint. I wonder, what does a kinship of response to support and sustain our earthly survival look like?  


We - all of us on Terra - live in disturbing times, mixed up times, troubling and turbid times. The task is to become capable, with each other in all of our bumptious kinds, of response. Mixed-up times are overflowing with both pain and joy - with vastly unjust patterns of pain and joy, with unnecessary killing of ongoingness but also with necessary resurgence.

Donna Haraway - Staying with the Trouble