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Earthanima: documenting the living language of nature

Enchant, Evolve

A fascinating project turns the basic elements of earth into art.

The basic intuition that the Earth is alive and that nature has a language through which it communicates with us is what prompted this wood-art project named Earthanima. For the past couple of years, the juggler and visual artist Thomas Arthur has recompiled images that evoke an anima or spirit that is subtly revealed through plants, trees, water, minerals, fire and other elements of the Earth. We have here secret shimmering appearances known as elemental beings –– We see fleeting evidence and winks of a hidden intelligence in nature.

Traditionally, the basic elements were considered the guardians of Earth; beings that formed part of a matrix of communication that reveals the power and magic of Mother Earth. The alchemist Paracelso called these elements lymphs (or nymphs), dryads, sylphs and salamanders. Fantastical beings like fauns, gnomes, elves and unicorns also tend to be considered, within mythology, as part of this iridescent army that dwells in the breast of the planet.

Earthanima is a sort of artistic invocation of these beings. These photographs capture forms suggestive of these beings. The goal is, in the words of Rilke, to “surrender to the intelligence of the earth”: to then rise “like trees.”

Earthanima‘s latest project is deck of cards (with some of the images gathered from the past couple of years) that is presented as something like that “the abstract Tarot of the Earth,” that is meant to encourage a playful and creative spirit toward nature. Having already achieved the necessary finances for printing through Kickstarter, this deck of cards is being used in literary workshops, in constellation-therapy or simply to break the ice during a party. This project relies on the power of our imagination that, as in the case of finding familiar shapes in the clouds, creates gestalt in the symphony of nature.

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