This exhibition is the work of an artist and a poet from an island whose past was marked by the seamless coexistence of a magnificent material civilization and the natural world. Created as a response to the 2015 UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change, the installation, encompassing ephemeral glass sculptures and paintings and fragments of poetry, captures the precarious fluidity of the earth’s delicate ecosystem that is rapidly being destroyed. It is a moving reminder that we are stripping the earth of its life-sustaining resources. Inspired by poets and philosophers, the exhibition catalyzes an inner dialog with the speaker of that quiet voice within each of us, forcing us to heed the desperate cry of the planet we inhabit that nourishes us and radically reexamine the way we currently live.
At the end of midnight
large, dark waves, swooped
upwards into the sky and harvested
the stars into the boats of
the sleeping fishermen.
The moon sucked in the blood of the fish
falling in slow motion back to the sea.
The earthlings gaped at the sky;
Them, children, again, and had to learn anew
to laugh with the lark flying higher and higher into the sky
to run with the stream as it glittered and simmered,
to the rhythm of the sun and the shadow of the moon,
on its way to the ocean.
Dawn came, uncertainly, breaking through
a leaden sky, suffusing the world in orange light.
And the earthlings, awake all night
from the shock of the arrival of star-filled boats,
left their homes.
They held a star to their hearts,
listening to directions from
the sky and the earth and the sea,
walking ceaselessly in the heat of the sun,
along the blood trails of the moon,
Feeding on shards of
seaweed covered in stardust.
Through their leaving, they lived.
The earth laughed, when finally, it heard,
the rhythm of its own heart
in the footfall of the wanderers.
Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe
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