1. Learning to appreciate EVERYTHING
In 2021 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My first response: utter fear in confronting mortality. Getting treatment during a time of global pandemic and political upheaval, everything felt especially intense. Surprisingly the diagnosis brought many positive experiences. I was able to take a leave of absence from work and focus on health and art. Daily yoga, breath and meditation alleviated pain and allowed for calm well-being.
2. Collaborations with Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens
When I got my diagnosis, I shared the news with Annie Sprinkle who has been a great mentor and friend for over 20 years. She supported me so much with great advice and kindness, and gave me opportunities to work with her and her wife Beth Stephens. Annie and Beth were awarded a 2021 John Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for film making. Their films, Water Makes Us Wet (https://watermakesuswet.ucsc.edu) and Goodby Gauley Mountain (https://watermakesuswet.ucsc.edu), have paved the way for environmentalism to be fun and joyful. Getting to design the collages and layouts for 2021with my SHEROS of art was a treat because they are both genuinely kind and loving people who REALLY care about our planet and art. Our first project of the year was a two-page layout based on their work 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth. The layout was featured in a beautiful art book titled Wicked Little Town published by Archive Books in Berlin, Germany. Quoted from the Archive book website, "Wicked Little Town gathers more than fifty artists and critical thinkers traversing trans-temporal imaginations of resistance, unruliness, and non-compliance across genders, abilities and national borders. Highlighting companionship, alliances, and bonds, this publication tunes to critiques of normativity and dialogues around the interdependency between intersectional oppressions and collective paths of liberation. It assembles non-violent grammars and vocabularies, especially of those artists, scholars, and activists who are often excluded from dominant narratives." The book was edited by Fanny Hauser and Viktor Neumann and released on September 10, 2021. (https://www.archivebooks.org/wicked-little-town-2/)
This project led to a collaboration on a series of posters for the Neon Digital Arts Festival (https://neondigitalarts.com/event/assuming-the-ecosexual-position/) in Scotland, UK. With artist Saul Villegas, (http://modernobysaulvillegas.com) we designed 4 x 6 foot collages.
Photo credit: Kathryn Rattray
The collages were printed as posters and displayed on the streets of Dundee, Scottland at the same time the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow was taking place. (https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the-glasgow-climate-pact-key-outcomes-from-cop26) Annie and Beth's display shared a narrative about love for the earth in their inclusive and humor-infused style, bringing hope to a time of a meeting of nations that would be instrumental to the future health of our planet. (https://neondigitalarts.com/bread-roses-coal-water-and-the-ecosexual-position/)
The version of 25 Ways to Make Love to the Earth here was a redesign of a poster we had created back in 2018. It was a thrill to see it in Annie and Beth's new book, Assuming the Ecosexual Position, The Earth as Lover, published in 2021 by the University of Minnesota Press. (https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/assuming-the-ecosexual-position)
The book has aptly been described as "a Kama Sutra for the environment, a text about the nature of love and the love of nature" by Constance Penley, coeditor of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure.
3. Art Love Friend - commerce as art on Shopify and Etsy
The vision designed for Art Love Friend began to come to life:
ART: Share positive vibrations through art and design world wide.
LOVE: Model ethically and ecologically sound business practices.
FRIEND: Contribute funds and designs to support positive causes.
4. Donation to E.A.R.T.H. Lab SF
It felt like a proof of concept to begin seeing sales on the Art Love Friend platforms in November. As a result, I was able to donate over $250 to Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens newly founded non profit, E.A.R.T.H. Lab SF, whose mission is to "build community by creating multidisciplinary art projects that envision the Earth and all of its beings with fresh eyes." They go on to explain, "Our organization questions and expands prevailing notions of environmental art, challenges the mainstream’s binary concepts of gender, sexuality, and race, incorporates inclusive, diverse, and imaginative possibilities for sustainable living, and supports the adoption of public policies based on scientifically informed environmental practices. Our multidisciplinary arts projects promote love, tolerance, sustainability, and peace." It was a full circle moment when I was told the funds would be used to complete the new website for the organization (https://earthlabsf.org.)
For next steps on this journey, please join me at these two accounts on Instagram!
Art Love Friend (@artlovefriend) at: (https://www.instagram.com/artlovefriend/)
Hoshi Hana at: (@hoshihana) (https://www.instagram.com/hoshihana23/)