Shumei International Institute is very pleased to welcome Deborah Lomas as our featured artist at this year’s 15th Anniversary. Born in the North of England in 1965, Deborah studied art and design and later went on to co-found Network 3, an agency for young illustrators in Liverpool. She has exhibited widely in her homeland and in the Southwest USA. It has been 20 years since her first show in Pasadena. The two woman show ‘Earth Angels’, was the first exhibition staged at the Shumei Gallery in 1997.
In her words: “It is such a great honour to be invited back to share my work in the natural, sacred surroundings of Crestone. This collection ‘While I breathe I hope’, is the result of more than 30 years of pure love and respect for the many groups who make up the global tapestry of indigenous peoples. To me they represent the greatest of environmentalists.
One of the books that inspired me in this artistic endeavour was ‘The Gaia Atlas of First Peoples’. When I was invited to share my work at the Shumei Institute, I searched my book shelves to find it as I remembered how deeply it spoke to me in the 1990’s; as an angry young activist. I blew off the dust, opened it up and read the foreword.
In part, it reads:
Our Earth is a vulnerable, abused place. It’s opulent forests rapaciously felled, it’s rivers and oceans polluted. It’s already degraded soils worked lifeless, it’s delicate envelope of atmosphere – the very basis for life on this planet is contaminated. In bending nature to our implacable will we are destroying her. Our material progress is achieved at the cost of passing on a wasteland to our grandchildren. As this turbulent century closes, we must radically alter our ways of life, patterns of consumption, systems of values, even the manner in which we organize our societies, if we are to ensure survival of the Earth and ourselves…The worlds Indigenous peoples are the guardians of our fragile ecosystems, holding critical lessons that are vital to the wellbeing and future of our precious planet.
These words were written by a man whose name meant little to me back then, yet means so much to me now. Re-reading those words and recognizing his name now I was deeply moved. Maurice F. Strong. This man whose words had meant so much to me as that young girl, had, together with his wife Hanne donated the land to Shumei, that was to house my exhibition. I only wish I could have thanked him personally for such a wonderful circle of serendipity.
The children that find their way onto my canvas seem to have a life of their own. I always begin with the eyes that seem to reach into my soul, allowing me to find a deeper connection to the earth. This exhibition then is a visual call to action. It is to continue that ancient call from deep within where all is one…To feel that call, open our hearts and love more.“
Join us Saturday May 20th at Shumei International Institute’s 15th Anniversary at 1:30pm as we enjoy time with Deborah Lomas and her art.