A multimedia artist would like to remind people about the healing properties of the natural world.
In her upcoming ‘Plants for the People’ exhibit at the Nanaimo Museum’s community gallery, Nanette Moss will offer a behind-the-scenes look at botanical sketches created as meditative exercises next to the paintings they inspired.
“I feel that we all have a drive to connect to the natural world and that plants represent life, healing and nourishment,” Moss said, and added that she believes most people already have a connection, whether through a favourite tree they would climb as a child, or through the sense of clarity and serenity experienced by simply being around houseplants.
Throughout her life, Moss has spent a great deal of time with plants and herbs, and believes doing so has greatly improved her mental health. At the beginning of the pandemic, she turned to sketching botanicals as a way to reduce the pressures of working in health care. The practice, she said, allowed her brief moments of “turning off all the death and sickness” and focus on living in the moment. When also confronted with a health scare last year, the artist said she was able to process the experience by pouring all the fear and uncertainty that she felt into her work.
“Instead of painting dark, horrible things happening – what really helped me heal, I feel, was thinking about life and everything I wanted and didn’t want to lose,” she said.
As an added element of interaction for her upcoming exhibit, Moss has included an audio tour that will not only provide accessibility for visually impaired people, but also give background information for audience members who don’t resonate as well with written material. She said the tour will feel like “talking with a friend” and allow a glimpse into who she is as a person and as an artist.
In the audio tour, Moss will answer two questions; ‘Why plants?’ and ‘What does creativity have to do with facing fears?’
By overcoming self-judgment and criticism through her creative process, the artist said her self-esteem and confidence would vastly improve and allow her to tackle other challenges in life.
“As I kept going, my confidence grew. And I would keep pushing my boundaries, pushing my comfort zone… It became quite a profound experience because I noticed that every time I trusted myself, when I believed in myself and took a risk, I saw that everything was going to be OK… It made me realize how silly internal blocks are,” she said.
‘Plants for the People’ will show from March 2 to May 5 at the Nanaimo Museum’s community gallery and will include eight paintings and sketches of new and existing works. In addition, 10 per cent of all sales made in March, including online sales, will benefit the Nanaimo Foodshare Society.
More information on Moss’s work can be found online at www.nanettemoss.com.
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