Stories Are Held In the Land

Mixed media encaustic, Stories Are Held in the Land, by Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Stories Are Held in the Land, encaustic mixed media, 20×16 inches

I recently have been reworking some older paintings. This is one of them and it really speaks to things I have been thinking about. When I am in my studio I often am listening to a variety of podcasts and one that I was listening to was from one of my favorite podcasts For the Wild of an interview with Josefina Skerk on the Sámi lifestyle and how they have been impacted by colonialism and the extraction of resources. At one point she says that for hundreds of years the Sámi never put their stories in books but that their stories were held in the land, in the water, in the stones. Their lives were so intertwined with their environment. That really resonated with me as I intuitively I have always felt that to be true.

I live in the burbs and before that lived in cities, so I don’t pretend to have this profound and deep connection to the land I’m on. I really don’t…and yet, I know it it to be true. Is it possible to get back to that, when one has been divorced from that way of living so close in relation to the earth? I feel like through my art it’s been my way to touch that knowing…I am starting to understand this.

“[The land] is our library.”-Josefina Skerk

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