The Temple of Pan
Referring to Baruch Spinoza's term from his Ethics, man is connected to all forms of existence in nature, and we are not above or apart from the universe around us. The divine is nature and nature is divine, and so is man in his own composition. Pantheism as the opposite of the false dogmas of fake religions that have become blind to their own origin, namely love and respect for all living beings.
His philosophy was also a source of inspiration for 19th century Romanticism, such as Constable, Turner and Friedrich. Even before Spinoza, Milton wrote the epic poem Paradise Lost.
During the lockdown it became clear to many that a walking in nature saved us from mental exhaustion. Have we already forgotten this or is it necessary to build new temples, temples that have in fact always been there, we just have to let them grow, we have to stop destroying them.
Birgit Stulens portrays the forest as a temple, the tree as a column in all its serene monumentality and mysticism.
The River Knows
embracing traces of Ophelia; the river remembers
Water reflects the sky masking what lies beneath, breaking the light, distorting the image, mirroring or translucent and layered, clear or cloudy, calm and peaceful or troubled and treacherous, giving and taking life, carrying slowly diluting memories towards the open sea, never giving them away completely.
This introspective body of work handles with memories and loss, the flow of mourning, and gradually letting go.
We are the river
More than ever before, our natural world is under threat. Humans are destroying the habitat of species, and cutting trees, whole forests, for economical, practical, even aesthetical reasons, or for no reason at all. We are literally cutting down the branch that we are sitting on, blinded by selfishness, greed or pure stupidity. When will we realize that our survival depends on the survival of all life on our entire planet? There is no time left to be poetic about it.