Letters to the Earth:
Between Despair and Hope

The Artists’ Letters

Participating artists in Letters to the Earth: Between Despair and Hope each wrote a letter to the earth as their commitment to the exhibition. They voice that the opportunity to sit back and blame corporations, governments, or the mistakes of our pasts has passed. To preserve the future for our children and future generations, the time to act is now. 

The following statements are a collection of handwritten letters that have been transcribed, and letters that had been sent to the curator via email.  

Please be advised that letters contain sensitive subject matter and explicit language.  

Together on Earth (2020), Dara Aram, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear mother earth, our home…providing us with life and beauty. 

We your children have an urgent, necessary obligation to join hands in dance of an appreciation and protection of your wonderful gifts you have given us and act quickly to save our earth, to create harmony between us andour environment and to act in keeping you, our mother earth, healthy, beautiful and peaceful. 

  • Dara Aram (Canada) 
Where Will We Go from Here? (2021), Valerie Ashton, Found plastic, 30 x 30 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear Mother Earth, 

You allow us the freedom to flow along your waters, you give us breath and light. You provide us with food and beauty, and we take advantage.  

I try to remember to keep you safe but is it enough? 
Will my ignorance cause you more pain?  

I will try harder to keep you safe. Together hopefully we can right the wrongs we have done to you before it is too late. 

  • Valerie Ashton (Canada) 
Kiss Me (2023), Ron Baird, Bronze, 18 x 24 x 12 in. Click to Purchase.  

We’ve learned that Darwin was wrong about survival of thefittest. 

Trees in a forest are connected by thousands of types ofspecialist fungal mycelia all passing food and water andmessages and medicine to roots and stems. A tablespoon offorest soil contains they say, sixty million living organisms.Nematodes, bacteria, springtails and mycelia. And, theyare interdependent and co-operatively swapping resources.Everything has equal importance; everything is working asit should. This I know from experience; I’ve seen and felt it working and it is indescribably beautiful. 

We consider some of our actions destructive to the wellbeingof our tiny, blue planet. Like for instance, raising cattle is abad thing. If we grow a half-ton beast it’s not all meat, milk and cat food. it’s bacteria, germs, parasites and yeast in theguts….and shit, lots of shit. Flies eat shit, birds eat flies,birds spread seeds, seeds grow into trees, trees bear fruit,bats eat fruit, bats share viruses, and everything is connectedto everything. 

To make a chocolate chip cookie you must grow and grindthe grain, pick the fruit of the coco tree, squeeze the juicefrom the sugar cane and obtain the mammary fluid froma cow. Maybe stir in chicken embryo or two and bake it.These ingredients aren’t naturally in your apartment, theycome from around the globe and are connected by ships,planes, trucks and elevators to your cookie which you eat anddigest with the probiotic and prebiotic enzymes purchased onthe internet. And,what doesn’t enter your bloodstream and chemically alter your dopamine and fat content gets flushed.What we send to the water treatment plant is not reallywaste. Its interactions go on as estrogen, OxyContin andcocaine enter the livers of fish causing cormorants’ beaksto malform. So, they die and feed the beetles that fatten the toad that lays the eggs that are breakfast for other things thatcrawl and leap. 

No sunshine, no life. No combo of hydrogen and oxygen,no life. Everything that ever lived is connected to water andphotons from our sun which travelled 96 million miles tomake the chlorophyll and burn your skin which peels andfeeds the mites in your bed. 

Mite droppings are spherical and 10 to 40 microns indiameter. They float up your nose while you are sleepingand make you sneeze. A sneeze lights up your brain andshotguns droplets of disease-causing organisms into the airwe breathe. Then, wide awake perhaps you breed and have achild who plays in the sunshine connection.It’s not telephone tag, stuff is not joined by chains but bywebs. Three dimensional webs of action and reaction, wavesof energy and indolence that spread out and up and down andconnect through space and time and everything swells andshrinks and changes form, all by itself. 

The system is working perfectly. Well not perfectly because,you can’t have perfect without imperfect. You can’t havebeauty without ugly. This interlacement of everything is beyond good and evil, beyond Gods and Devils, beyond passor fail. 

My puny brain is not capable of grasping just how perfectand magical a construction this is. But just because I can’tunderstand it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it. It’s like love.You are already joined in, no membership required. This isit; you are here and ‘twas ever thus.” 

  • Ron Baird (Canada) 
Earth Goddess and Monarchs, Arrival in Central Mexico (2023), Diana Bennett, Collage on canvas with dried plant materials, insects, seeds, beads, wire, stones, feathers, acetate, and clear cast resin, 20 x 38 in.
Earth Goddess and Monarchs (2023), Diana Bennett, Collage on canvas with dried plant materials, insects, seeds, beads, wire, stones, feathers, acetate, and clear cast resin, 20 x 38 in.  

Dear Mother Earth, 

My grief is deep
As wide and deep as the mining pits we dig for more
As disfiguring as the fracking scars that pierce our rocks
As wrenching as the jagged tracts of clear cut forests
As suffocating as the tons of plastic that strangle our seacreatures
As despairing as we gasp to find unpolluted air
As agonizing as we watch children die from hunger and disease
As humbling as we know that more voices than mine need tocome together as a creative choir
Yet….our dearest Mother Earth…
If we can create a chorus of harmonies
If we can fashion a tapestry of visual resonance
If we can imagine the heritage of beauty you meant for us
If we can look into the branches of our tallest, oldest trees
If we can nurture the tiniest, most fragile living things
And become your soul partners, we may earn your forgiveness and regain HOPE…. 

  • Diana Bennett (Canada) 
Pandemic Ending at Dusk (2020), Carmel Brennan, Photography, 22 x 31 in. Click to Purchase.  
Paper Thin Pandemic (2020), Carmel Brennan, Photography, 22 x 31 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear Earth,  

I am sorry for living my life blind, not seeing my contribution to the state you have falling into. I love living on your planet. I love knowing about other lives that have existed, enjoying the changes in your seasons, the beauty of your mountains and lakes and seas. You have provided me with everything I have needed!  

And what have I done for you, other than cause you pain and destruction. I have been part of the citizenship who have blamed corporations and the government, the rich or what happened a generation ago for all this disaster. I have had my head in the sand for so long, been so ignorant of your plight, living a self – centered life. No more! It is MY fault.  

What can I do to restore the world to a healthy state, a time before your forests were razed, your creatures were brought to extinction? I realize it is up to the individual human to change. I am going to work to connect with the people who originally took care of this earth of yours. I am going to learn from them and share my learning with others. I know you will exist long after we humans are gone. I don’t want to leave you, earth, pfeeling that I could have done more, cared more.  

I am deeply sorry for my ignorance and promise to do better in the years that are remaining to me.  

  • Carmel Brennan (Canada) 
Chaos Egg (2015), Nancy R. Chalut, Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 x 1.5 in. Click to Purchase.  


Dear Mother Earth – aka ME 

A dozer years ago, I watched the cerulean blue skye above my head criss-crossed in white X & O patterns, almost blocking out the skye itself. Why so much air traffic on Canada Day? 

I onedered where and when all of this white “stuff” wood reach land? It occurred to me then that it was time for me to mend my ways and focus on the ground beneath my shoeless feet – I made a commitment to you then to find a way to spend time tilling your soil – exploring the intricacies of your surface skin. I found a few people needing gardens tended and I set out on my journey of exploration.  

An amazing gift was offered me. I have made an intimate acquaintance with a solitary toad, eye to eye contact beneath giant hosta leaves. I have lunched with frogs too numerous to count all offering original vocal chorus’ and I have witnessed treefrogs choosing to camouflage as grey farmstone or green leaf – pretty impressive! 

“fire ants” have left needles in my hands in protest as my trowel disrupted homes, ground hornets who definitely did not like the sound of the gas fired machine used to trim the grass swarmed me in defiance. Need less to say I retreated in panic. Only seventeen tattoos labelled ownership on my forearm.  

Then, the pleasure is all mine around 10am midsummer. Hornets bees and relatives clamourin chorus whilst pollinating a symphony of colour. They have a natural sundial.  

If I have learned anything on this journey, it is that MOTHER EARTH aka me knows exactly what to do. She works in balance with the rhythms of the universe. Sunrises. Sunsets. Seasons know when to turn and all species seem to know the natural rhythms of rest and wake, reproduction and growth.  

The human species invented 24/7 light a century ago and has not found balance since.  

MOTHER EARTH – aka me – knows the ways of the universe. My fate is in your hands. You offer me breath, sustenance, and life. You and I are one.  

A glimpse at your tumultuous journey through this universe is being offered to me now.  


XO me 

  • Nancy R. Chalut (Canada) 
Hopefulness (2023), Sarah Cowley, Metal, clay, fabric, organic materials, beads, glass, wood, mixed media, 11 x 11 x 17 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear Earth, well actually, Dear You, 

I live in an old house, on an old road, in an old town, linedwith old trees. Although all are old, nothing is older than200 years – a droplet of time in the old ocean circling the oldplanet. 

Our time on this planet is equivalent to a particle of sand,on an endless beach – hardly worth mentioning whenconsidering the Four and Half Billion Years of Evolutionthat has happened and continues to happen on earth …creating lives and deaths, transformations, symbioticrelationships and co-habitations. 

Why should we, at this time, care about the globe that hassurvived this long? 

Some of us have it really good – more food than we caneat, hot showers and schools. Why should we care? Wehave it made in a shade. Who cares others are starving todeath? Who cares animals are dying of thirst? Who cares seacreatures are murdered by our garbage? Who cares civil andsocial unrest results from changes in our climate? 

The injustices in the world are largely related to ClimateChange. Climate Change is largely related to us with themost. Us with the most must learn to live with less. We needto share. We need to support. We need to learn. We need tomake physical changes. Praying is not enough. 

Learning to change positively can be Enlightening.Start at home with a question, “How much do I need? Willsecond hand do? Are there replacement parts? Are thesecompostable materials?” 

Make one Small Positive Change a Month to help withAdjusting the Climate. 

Empower yourself with these changes … Gifts for the EarthWe come from Earth and back to Earth we will go. OurPerception is our Connection. 

With ever loving kindness and hope, 

  • Sarah Cowley (Canada) 
Connecting to Mother Earth (2021), Jaya Datta, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 60 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear Mother Earth, 

You gave me a life, nurtured me, providing me with all thelife necessities. I am sorry I took you for granted. I stoppedtaking notice of your generosity. I really didn’t care if youwere constantly being abused by us humans through airand water pollution, deforestation and doing everything todestabilize the natural balance of the environment, literallychoking you. I didn’t see your suffering or looked the otherway. 

It’s only recently due to the unprecedented circumstances ofCovid 19, when I faced fear and isolation, I realized that noteverything is right, and we were heading in a direction of noreturn by entering into a danger zone. I was forced to lookback. I know now that all the earth systems are connected,and we cannot take chances to disturb any of the systems.I am writing to you asking for your forgiveness. Please giveme and all others a chance to make amends. I pray to you togive us a second chance to make it right. I promise to honouryou, be grateful to you for everything you gave us to survive. 

I take a pledge that I along with others will find ways torestore the richness we inherited from you and to insure, thatyou become healthy and resilient again. 

  • Jaya Datta (Canada/India) 
Just One Thing (2023), Sheila Davis, Oil and found objects on panel, 41.5 x 41.5 in (framed). Click to Purchase

Hello Mother Earth,  

We call you Mother, not Father. 

You are responsible for all things, from the lowest cell to thelargest animal, from the tiniest spore to the tallest tree.For billions of years you have mothered, nurtured and fed.
With patience you have picked up after us, tried to teach usright from wrong. 

You still do.
We don’t listen. 

Like errant children we ignore you thinking only of ourselvesand our immediate satisfaction. No thought for consequencenor the future. No thought for our children and grandchildrenthat will bear the brunt of our greed. 

I wonder at your patience. I sit here on a beach admiringanother sunset after a perfect day. I see litter strewn here andthere; shreds of plastic caught up amongst the driftwood. 

Thoughtlessness? A busy family packing up at day’s endnone too carefully? Are we just too busy to notice? We areall guilty. Imagine leaving nature as pristine as it was beforewe arrived. Too late for that I think. Much too late. 

Cracks are showing in your calm demeanour. Violent storms,long hot days with hotter forest fires, flooding, drought. Allsigns that you are not immune to our bullying. 

We promise, as all “caught in the act” do, to behave andchange our ways. Then we turn our backs and drive away inour oversized, unnecessary SUVs, while you stand breathingit in with one lone tear falling from your cheek. 

What will be here for my granddaughter? What do we leavebehind? I try to instill responsibility, but media is stronger. 

Instagram with its ‘perfect face’ and instant fashion faroutweighs the importance of your message. 

How do we change our future? Can we?
What have we become?
What will we become?  

Yours Sincerely, 

  • Sheila Davis (Canada) 
214 Sequences (2023), Gordana Olujic Dosic, Mixed media, 27.5 x 27.5 x 3 in, Click to Purchase

Dear Earth,  

Addressing you is a challenge; you are so big and beautiful, and I am in awe. I am just a speck in the universe, like a grain of sand on a sandy beach. I am reluctant to do so but I’ll make an effort to rid myself of this feeling and tell you a little about myself. I am a visual artist who works in the area of material-based multimedia art. What it means is that I view material as the source of inspiration, and it is an integral part of the artwork. In recent years my interest has been to explore my family and personal archives, in the form of letters, cards, photographs, negatives and slides. I have been realizing more and more the importance of these archives, not only in order to give them a new lease on life by treating them as my art material but because I have an increasing appreciation for the fact that I am reusing existing materials.  

My awareness of the damage we human beings have been doing to you, dear Earth, has been growing exponentially over the years. I also acknowledge that every human act counts, every action and every personal contribution, no matter how small. So far, I have been avoiding the topic for the most part, but I do it less and less now. I have to confess, I still travel by air, usually once a year, out of necessity. I admire your beautiful surface viewed from the plane and I am fascinated by the sight of the clouds, mountains, water and big cities in the daytime and at night. But I find it harder and harder to reconcile my appreciation for the glorious views with the awareness that with each flight I add to the increasing damage to the atmosphere…  

My grandfather didn’t have such dilemmas. While thinking how to address you and struggling to articulate my thoughts and feelings I started thinking about him. He lived the simple and honest life of a farmer, who produced what was needed to feed his family and himself in a way that respected you, dear Earth, and helped you do your job of natural recycling. He grew crops, vegetables and fruit organically, his cows and sheep grazed in the open fields and chickens roamed around free. He didn’t know any other way of living and being. You could say he didn’t have a choice and that would be true. We cannot and wouldn’t want go back in time; however, nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned from the past.  

I belong to a different era and I was born and raised in a large city. I continued and still to this day live in cities in separate countries, far removed from nature. Yet now that I am older and wiser, I appreciate your beauty more than ever, dear planet and I am painfully aware of how close we are to the point of no return, where the damage becomes irreparable. Recently I spent some time in a beautiful mountainous region, where the green vistas are wide and the air clear. I was thinking what a privilege it was to visit a place like that for a brief period of time. I shudder to think we, as humans, have created so much destruction that areas like this are in danger of disappearing.  

I certainly hope we can still stop the worst and reverse at least some of the damage; otherwise, life will become unbearable and pretty much meaningless. We need to acknowledge that it is imperative to do so much more and not look the other way and expect something miraculous to happen while pursuing our unbridled consumer habits and lifestyles. We also need to speak up in order to influence our representatives to make far-reaching decisions at all levels of government.  

As our one and only planet, dear Earth, are you able to give us another chance? I stay committed to creating artwork that is more than 90% based on reusing and recycling. I also make a promise to you to cut air travel as much as possible. I want you to know that I DO LOVE YOU!  

Sending you my biggest hug, 

  • Gordana Olujic Dosic (Canada)
The Gift of Life (2022), D. Ahsén:nase Douglas, Oil on linen, 24 x 24 in. Click to Purchase
Lament (2022) D. Ahsén:nase Douglas, Oil on linen, 40 x 40 in. Click to Purchase

A Battle Cry for Mother Earth 

You have reached a time of action, consumerism and greed hasmade us forget our teachings. 

You suffer with an infestation upon your back. Be strong nowand, rally your strength to shuffle off this pestilence. 

You have given us everything and yet we relentlessly wantmore. How can one be so generous in the face of death? 

Our self-centered ways have made us blind to your pain untilnow, and yet we continue. 

Stand, shake off your robes, and pick up your spear. 

Do not think of us Mother, as we die beneath your feet. 

For we deserve nothing more. 

  • Sken:non’ko:wa akwé:kon – D. Ahsén:nase Douglas (Mohawk-First Nation) 
Overseers (2018), Jean Eng, Acrylic on canvas, 10 x 13 in. Click to Purchase
Revolutions Per Minute (2018), Jean Eng, Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 10 in. Click to Purchase


Generous light, generous bloom. 

All these years in service toa careful beauty; evictions ofweed and wildflower: seed 

nebulae, volunteers, swarmingamong bulb and perennial. 

Dandelions renew themselveson our property, fill with earlysugars for bee, butterflyand other insects to drink. Forthe sake of these couriers whotransport gold, we push our ownhands away. We concede oldtugs of war: an industry of wingspreserves a church in all gardensincluding the one we attend. 

But the urge to grab and pullgathers rhythm as natural ashope or longer days. Our fingersscrabble at choke vine, wrenchplantain, punish knotgrass forbeing knotgrass. We downsizethistle instead. Their bladespoint toward a future that wouldwelcome our absence if needed tosustain what’s left of paradise. 

  • Jean Eng (Canada) 
Eric (2021), Cesar Forero, Photography, 24 x 18 in.



My screen is blank and the words run incessantly, aiming tofind their path. 

The heart beats hard and the desire flies to follow you. 

The sunset-light colours the rain and the flowing watermoves as fast as my blood,carrying the message of my hands wanting to touch you.I want to see you, not in my dreams, but face to face andintertwining our legs,while our arms entrap our bodies in an embrace that wordscannot. 

Uncomprehending sounds emerging from our bodies, invadethe space, communicatingour love to the world in pulsating cycles that inspire therhythmic songs of birds. 

Three, two, one and then five, six, seven and eight 

Three, two, one and then five, six, seven and eight 

My heart stops… not! 

And your lips keep running on me. 

Caring, caressing, breathing closely and then kiss, touch, embrace, love. 

Caring, caressing, breathing closely and then kiss, touch, embrace, love. 

My heart stops… not! 

And your lips keep running on me. 

Love has found its way to inundate my existence 

Love has yet dominated what was taught. 

And my love for you has opened your hands and arms toonly hold me tight. 

Love has conquered, portraying how lucky it feels to bealive. 

I love you! Five, six, seven and eight. 

  • Cesar Forero (Canada) 
Birch Leaves Barrier (2022), Sharron Corrigan Forrest, Water-based inks, Unryu, Seikshu Banshi & other Kozo Washi, Konnayaku starch to size branches, leaves & rocks, 14 x 12 x 5 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

I wish to address you as Earth or as [Aki, Chikyū (Tsuchi), Tierra, Umhlaba, Terre, Whenua, Terra, Misiwe Askiy, Zemlya, Aarde, Alard, Nunarjuaq, Jigu, Bokahohle, Nchi, Dunia, Bumi, Domhain, Dìqiú, Trái đất, Erde, Zemlya, Ardhi, Zamīg, Zemlja, Talamh, Jörð, Dharatī, Lalolagi, žemė, Toprak, Adamah, Honua, Delkhii, Dziko Lapansi, Ddaear, Erd, Zem, Wsitqamu’k] and I apologize for not including almost 6,500 other languages that address you in their ethnic tongue.  

May I begin by expressing my sincerest concerns for you and to apologize for our thoughtlessness, ignorance, lack of care and dangerous behavior that we have exhibited towards you for a very long period of time.  

For many decades, you quietly indicated that your health has been in a grave state of decline; however, we foolish humans have completely ignored you. Now that your survival has been compromised by our complete disregard, disrespect and blindness; we are finally realizing the hard truth that we have not taken care of you, dear Earth. Instead, we have clearly failed you by not respecting boundaries that intentionally violate your laws of the nature. We continue to commit acts of physical brutality that has resulted in non-reversible injury to you through our callous behavior and daily assaults on YOU.  


HOW DID WE DO THIS TO YOU? Well, please allow me to put it into words without the rhetorical pretense that dismisses ownership over our past, current and future actions. Instead, it is acknowledgement of what you mean to US and an admission of what we have done to at long last, both globally and individually, more of us humans are finally hearing, seeing, and beginning to experience your own long sufferance and pain. Many of us acknowledge the results of what we have done to YOU, DEAR EARTH and are greatly concerned that we have caused irreparable damage.  

The changes in your temperature, dear Earth, has caused you this great pain by escalating it to the degree that now results in greater loss of sea ice causing the rise of sea levels that create record breaking floods, wildfires, and extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornados, and increased lightning strikes.  

Painfully, we are also aware that there are social effects to what we have done to you as realized in the form of increased migrations of human, plant and animal species, increase in pandemics, political instability, conflict over land ownership, famines, civil unrest and effects on human health as a result of the warming effect that we are having on our ecosystems and YOU, EARTH.  

As a child, my sister and I would follow the cutting crews that were logging (not clear-cut logging) old growth white pine trees.  

Once a tree was felled, we picked the pinecones from the branches on the ground and bagged them to give to the Ministry of Lands and Forest (now Ministry of Natural Resources) of Northern Ontario for replanting.  

These memories are a reminder to myself of the significance of small acts of caring about nature and in doing so how, in present times, to effectively change my own global warming footprint.  

I promise that I will do so by trying my best to alter my behaviour by taking immediate steps to help heal you, Earth Our garden is planted with milkweeds that help our bee friends; our property has an amazing diversity of trees that produce oxygen.  

We walk or take public transit in an effort to reduce our dependency on a car; we make every effort to buy and consume locally grown and seasonal produce; purchase clothing made of natural fibres and, within the last decade or so, I have migrated towards changing my creative process in an effort to use more ecofriendly art materials.  

Thank you, dear Earth, for allowing me to share my thoughts of DESPAIR.  

It is my greatest HOPE that we humans will take immediate action to ensure your long-term survival through coordinated solutions that go beyond national boundaries and get the world on a more sustainable, low carbon pathway.  


  • Sharron Corrigan Forrest (Canada) 
Vertical Indoor Aquatic Ecosystem (2023), Phil Fung 

Dear Earth,  

You are our one and only home. You have given us everything that we have and everything that we will ever know. You feed us with bounty from soils and seas, sustain us with air and water and give us security and inspiration. Still we do not live up The Gift. 

 We despair that we have taken too much from your riches in living creatures and their homes. When will we have enough and be satisfied? We see you begin to falter, and know we need to atone.  

We hope for a return to a time where all life works together, without loss, without calamity and being worthy of your Gift. We know we can do better. How? We take the forgotten lessons of Earth itself – how the forests, fields, lakes and rivers renew themselves. We take the inspiration of nature as the guide – moving us forward in a way that nourishes and sustains us all into the future.  

Please accept our gift to you – the promise to plant seeds of hope, and apply the lessons of nature to something better. Let each of us nurture and embrace the things that nourish us, building a garden of inspiration at the centre of our lives. In that garden, we will grow. 

  • Phil Fung (Canada)  
Solitude (2022), Nevaeh Hanna, Photography, 33 x 24 in. Click to Purchase. 

Dear Earth, 

Our destructive effect on you can no longer be ignored. For decades, we have handed these problems over from generation to generation. We need to realize that we are not separate from our planet but rather, a part of it. We need to treat the earth with respect and care for ot, as we would care for our own house. We need to make environmentally conscious decisions every day and hold ourselves accountable for our actions. I hope that others will join me in this effort so that we can create a brighter future for ourselves and generations to come. 


Nevaeh H. 

  • Nevaeh Michiko Hanna (U.S.A) 
All Creatures Great and Small (2015), Karissa Joy Tamiko Hanna, Tempera on Paper, 12 x 14 in. Not for Sale. 

Dear Earth, 

In the world I see
a rainbow
peaking from behind the clouds.
In the world I hear
in the midst of chaos.
In the world I feel
for the hopeless.
In the world I know
that this pain and suffering
was not meant to be.
In the world I love
little moments of happiness
that make everything seem right.
In the world I wish
that more would see
the one truth behind the millions of lies. 

  • Karissa Joy Tamiko Hanna (U.S.A) 
The Flood (2023) Janet Hendershot, Acrylic, pastel, torn paper on wood panel, 16 x 15 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Mother Earth, 

Over the yearsI have loved you since I was first aware of you as a darkdamp place to put my bare feet, and to roll and lie on.Running in the mud you held me and even drew me in sodeeply that I could not move. Family had to come and pullon me to set me free as you let out a loud sucking sound. 

At times, you became so dry that you would cause me tocough as I moved my bare feet hrough your light tan colourand warmth. The tadpoles in your ponds down the lane werea great mystery. Where did they come from? How did theyget to the little mud puddle? Would you dry up or stay longenough on the earth for them to survive? 

As a teenager, you led the way with guidance from yourtrees. The trees seemed to say ’This is the way to be’. Tobe? Yes. Stand and listen like a tree. Wait. Act wisely like those trees in the yard, in the woods and way down the lane. 

Be tall and strong and unyielding yet willing to move in thewind. Oh, to be like a tree and stop this inner suffering.Oh Mother. Sometimes in winter you seemed too far away.I could not reach the dirt. The trees did not speak to methe way they did in Spring and Summer. And all the plantswithdrew to you under the snow. The colours of energyraying to the sky were missing. The trees seemed to stopbreathing. 

As an adult, trees from you were the lace for me to lookthrough. The flowers became more distinct and beautiful– each with its own way of existing. The trunk of the treebecame something to lean on and hug at any moment. I ammore confident and stronger from your continued firmnessand solid energy. Rocks, flowers, trees, animals all havetheir own distinct energy and way of being and all aresupported by Earth. Each so different and each so special. 

Dear Mother Earth, I thank you. 

  • Janet Hendershot (Canada) 
Ash Borer Ash (2022) Robin Kingsburgh, Digital print, 30 x 20 in. Click to Purchase


Letter to the Earth  

What has become of us in our urban state? our Urban State our urban State?  

Loss of our senses 
We have lost our senses 
lost what we see 
lost what we hear 
lost what we smell 
lost what we touch 
lost what we taste  

The sunset | the colours of the clouds/grey is a colour | the rays of light thought the clouds slightly pink slightly purple glowing and fading | the flying feet of the sanderling | the rainbow wide and fine | double rainbow with colours inverted (we need to stop at the side of the road and look and have someone stop and ask if we are ok – just looking at a rainbow I’m fine look there’s a double rainbow do you see it?) 
the greens of the trees | the tamarack changing colour in the fall | the ochre of the willow in winter | the changing shadows – follow the path of the Sun | the bark patterns – follow time unfolding  

The sound of the trees and how they change in the fall | the sound of the water from far away waves must be big today | the wind | the woodpecker in the morning (its tongue can wrap around its head) | the birdsong so many birds so many types so many songs which one is that?  

The pine trees | the soil | the wet leaves decaying | the soil after the rain | the new spring leaves  

The soil | the sand | the bark rough and peeling | the coldness the warmth | dry and wet 
The tomatoes not cardboard | the potatoes really those are potatoes? | the strawberries really those are strawberries? | what happens if the farm is nearby? the earth can look after us if we let it 

  • Robin Kingsburgh (Canada) 
Letter to the Earth (2023), Melissa Kraft, Silkscreen print,16 x 22 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

You have been part of my journey since birth… your water… your air… your land… your shelter… your nourishment… your warmth. You’ve always been there for us, and we are connected.  

We will learn from your example and we will be there for you, too. We will pull together as one community and learn to treat you with respect and love. You have our hearts and our hope. 

  • Melissa Kraft (U.S.A.) 
Greed (2022),  Bert Liverence (Canada), Oil on canvas, 40 x 19 in . Click to Purchase

No Letter.  

  • Bert Liverance (Canada) 
Into the Forest, But Not Out of The Woods (2022), Ian Mackenzie, Cut-up photo collage on art board, 20 x 16 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

I thought of myself as an environmental artist. 

I made sculptures using recycled plastic bottles. One of mytechniques involved using a torch to melt the bottles intoshape. It wasn’t until after that I recognized the hypocrisyof this as I was creating a different type of pollution. I switched to carving the bottles with an X-acto knife. Thisway, I only sacrificed my fingers. You are welcome. 

I moved onto recycled cardboard, and repurposed oldphotographs in a series of collages. The media I used –recycled bottles, cardboard and photographs – were meantto convey and highlight my message: the importance ofrecycling and concern for you. 

My recent work consists of pen and ink drawings. Theenvironmental themes keep coming through, whether Iwant them to or not. It looks like we’re partners for thelong haul. 

I know I’ll keep failing, but as Samuel Beckett said:“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” 

I’ll keep trying. 


  • Ian Mackenzie (Canada) 
Vanishing (2023), Mary Akemi Morris, Acrylic on canvas, 42 x 42 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

As an enthusiastic traveler, I have been lucky to have seenmany of your incredibly beautiful sights. As a landscapeartist, being able to represent that one moment in time ontocanvas is a privilege. I have always tried to represent thescene with sincerity and naturalism. 

In 2019, we travelled to the Galapagos for the journey of alifetime. On the first excursion we hopped on a small skiffin anticipation of a snorkeling adventure. From a distancethe shore looked deserted, pristine and beautiful. As we gotcloser, we could see that currents had left behind a stream ofplastic debris at the edge of the water. We cleaned up whatwe could (unfortunately with plastic bags) and then started tosnorkel. I noticed immediately that the water seemed cloudy,but it became clear soon enough that the cloudiness wascaused by bits of plastic floating around like snowflakes. Itwas a sickening sight to witness the plastic morsels beinggobbled up by all sizes of colourful fish and Galapagosturtles. A year later I painted several versions of the beautifulshoreline (regretfully with acrylics… more plastic) butalways knew that the beautiful scene had an ugly underbelly. 

With regret, respect and hope for the future, 

  • Mary Akemi Morris (Canada) 
Orange Alert (2022), Joseph Muscat, Digital Print, 32 x 32 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

An artist colleague of mine has invited me to write you aletter and share some of my thoughts and feelings I mighthave for you. As a matter of fact you’ve been on my mindfor a very, very long time and I’ve thought about youand included you in many of my own creative activities throughout the last four decades. I have dedicated wholeseries of paintings trying to address my concern for youand my worries about your survival – Age of Anxiety 1988,Frontier 1989, Polemics1991, Gaia 1993, Under One Blue1994, Labyrinthe 2000, Storm Warning and Arketypes 2008,Cast Adrift 2011, Homeostasis 2013, Wild & Wireless 2016,SCrude 2017 and Hindsight is 2020 in 2020. 

Yes, more than ever, I’ve been waiting and hoping thatyou get a break from all the droughts, fires, floods, quakes,eruptions and meltdowns, but it seems that there is no reliefin sight. Although I try to do my part in inflicting as littleharm on you as possible, I have often failed to do so and forthis I ask for your forgiveness. 

In spite of all my transgressions, I have to tell you that youare such a great source of inspiration and pleasure. I am mosthappy when I’m surrounded by your trees or bathing in your waters or watching a hawk gliding overhead; I’m alwaysawed by your awesome beauty and resilience. So, I askmyself, why do we humans cause so much pain even to thosewe love? I don’t know how to answer that question, but Ihope that, in some minor way, I can make up for the harmI’ve caused and help restore some health back to you. I try tobe careful with what I consume, and I recycle and compostas much as I can to try to cut down on my carbon footprint. 

Although many of us think it’s too little too late, I still holdon to the hope that you can help us and guide us to improveour ways in helping you heal.Do not give up on us, dear earth. There are enough of uswho love you and care for you. Our indigenous populationsworld-wide have tried so hard to show us the right way tolive but we’ve treated them so badly over long colonizingyears. I’m grateful we are finally realizing what great earthstewards they have been and that we need to follow theirpath of wisdom. 

May I conclude my letter to you with a little prayer for yourhealth and well-being: 

Our Earth
Who’s all around us
Honoured be your name
Your land be spared
Your sky be bright
And all nature greatly respected.
Give us this day
The courage we lack
And forgive us our trespasses
As we try to find the ways and means to help you.
Lead us not into our selfishness
But deliver us from your wrath and fury
For yours is the wonder, the power and splendour
For many more years to come  

  • Joseph Muscat (Canada) 
Mayhem (2023), Mary Ng, Acrylic on rice paper, 34.75 in x 34.75 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Mother Earth: 

It was early morning on the first day in May, I strolled alongthe little trail in a Provincial Park. The sky was clear, thewind was mild and refreshing. The chirping of birds, thegurgling of water and the sprouting of trees showed clearlythat spring is a season of rebirth and rejuvenation. A newcycle had just begun. I marveled at your constancy anddependability. 

It was the first weekend in November. I walked along asmall road in the cottage country. I immersed myself in thecolors of maroon, orange, yellow, green and many more. At the nearby farmers’ market, I saw all the vegetables andfruits and pumpkins and corns in full display. I marveled atthe vibrancy of Fall and the bounty that you always provide. It was the first day of snow in Ontario. The light snowdusted the path and everything around me. The sky wasgrey. Everything looked clean and pristine. I enjoyedthe solitude and marveled at the beauty and spirituality ofunspoiled nature. 

Mother Earth, You have always been a giving mother. Yousustain us on a daily basis. You give us clean air, cleanwater, food and materials for shelter. You trust us and makeus the custodian of this planet. Instead, we see ourselves asowners, we take everything we want, use them and discardthem as we please. We engage in brutal competitions incollective exploitations, destroying the ecosystem, imperilingthe chance of survival of other species. We do not carethat you want other species to thrive as well. We rarelycontemplate on how hellish our life would be should you getupset with our wayward behaviors. 

When I look at the increased frequencies of natural disasters:the hurricanes, the floods, the wildfires, the shrinking of thepermafrost, the desertification and many more, I know you are very angry.Mother Earth, please forgive us, forgive our selfishness,wastefulness and wanton behaviors. Give us some timeto come to our senses. We will mend our ways. I, myself,promise to be always mindful of your generosity, recycle andreuse whenever I can. 

  • Mary Ng (Canada) 
Rankin Inlet (2023), Christl Niemuller, Acrylic mixed media, 34 x 41 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

To begin with I have to apologize to you for havingtaken you for granted all my life. For not thinking of anyrepercussions, when damaging your fragile existence. 

Accepting all kinds of plastic containers holding food I liketo eat, while never challenging manufacturers on the hazardto the environment. Although I look after my trees, plants,meadow and worry, when one or more are dying, I do notunderstand, why. When the number of birds decreases dueto poisonous chemicals everywhere. I fret but do nothing,because what can I, one person, do? 

Although conscious now of the damage, it seems almost toolate, but I am going to try. 

  • Christl Niemuller (Canada) 
Love Letter (2021), Katherine Palmer. Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 in. Click to Purchase

Letter to the earth: love and thanks 

Hikers and campers recognize the message to leave only footsteps behind after a stay in the wild. Those footprints are evidence of our human presence, and they endure.  

The longer that I’m around the more I feel/see that our lives are written on the earth- it’s all one collective story/history. Sometimes we try to stand apart from other humans, other creatures and from the earth itself. But that’s not possible. We are of the earth and the earth is us.  

We humans don’t always get what’s right in front of us. So sorry for that. 

Our connection with the earth is in our body and written in our gut. We transform the elements of life – from the earth, air and water on our journey through life. We change right down to the molecular level, and we change the world as it does us.  

It’s hard for us humans to think that way.  Isn’t it impractical? Humans are proud of all that’s been accomplished and how smart we are.  Other creatures- not so smart, we say. We are capable of great folly. We trick ourselves, emphasizing the separate and apart. All so we can maintain our ‘standard of living’ (what a low bar to aim for) regardless of the impact on the world around us.  

The good news is that our collective story/ memory is powerful. Humans yearn for that place of ‘grace’. Connection. It’s awesome. It’s awesome when we recognize that powerful remembering and give ourselves over to it.  

I commit to conveying these messages of collective story and connection through my art. For me this is a real and positive call to action, promoting the ownership of the issue – it’s of urgent self-interest for all of us. It’s personal.  I recognize the need to shift my own way of thinking and to imbue this message into my daily discourse and activities. Talk the walk and walk the talk.  

So, thank you for your patience with us, our hubris, and our ignorant behaviours. Like the salmon returning to the site of the spawn, like the birds and butterflies migrating thousands of kilometers, humans feel the collective history and yearn to go ‘forest bathing’.  (Smile) Thank you for tolerance as we focus on being a part of the world and stop being so standoffish.  We all need to vividly imagine a positive future and humans’ continuing participation in the story.  

In gratitude 

Kat Palmer 

  • Katharine J. Palmer (Canada) 
West of Parkside RD., High Park (2014-2018), Frances Patella, Mixed media, acrylic paint, and photography on canvas, 30 x 39 in. Click to Purchase


Dear Earth, 

How wonderful to be a part of your living ecosystem. I feel embraced and comforted by your magnificent trees, nourished by your fertile land and replenished by your flowing rivers and waters. We are both living organisms evolving through time and space. How exciting is that!! 

So what happened? Did we ever really have a time when we lived in harmony with you? It seems hard to imagine. We don’t seem to realize that when we hurt you, we’re hurting ourselves, even when the evidence is scattered all around us for all to see. You have existed for a long time before us and will continue to exist long after we’re gone. You don’t need us as much as we need you. 

I hope we can reconnect on a deeper profound level – I can imagine that future. 

  • Frances Patella (Canada)  
Eleventh Hour (2023), Dominique Prevost, Watercolour, ink, leaf, 5 papers, 20.5 x 20.5 in. Click to Purchase

Dear Earth, 

I am your child, born out of you, supported and inspired by you! 

You teach me every day on how to be patient, resilient, adaptable, generous, purposeful and respectful. You make me look up, down and within. You show me beauty, elegance, geometry, diversity, intricacies and simplicity. 

Your forests replenish my body and my soul. In their midst, I feel cocooned, nurtured and breathe better. I know your root systems reach as far below as your canopy reaches in the sky; holding fertile dirt from being swept away by winds and sudden floods. You are home to so much wildlife, where nothing is ever wasted. I’ve been an admirer for so long, it’s about time for me to become a better custodian and advocate. 

Thank you for always being there for me, 

With my deepest and warmest love, 

  • Dominique Prevost (Canada) 
Nature Prevails (2022), Mark Puigmarti, Forged steel, dye oxide, paint, wax, 74 x 21 x 12.5 in. Click to Purchase

My attempts to start a Letter to The Earth several times have all ended up sounding prepared and ridiculous. I do feel incredible remorse for all the innocent life affected by climate change. I am not remotely an expert on all the known sciences, but for the sake of basic understanding I will oversimplify the obvious. The Earth consists of physical matter and energy. An infinite number of complex actions and reactions in repeating non-repeating, and adaptive patterns are happening constantly. 

Most animals and plants/organisms live and die in a possibly brutal, but harmonious cycle within this complex framework. Humankind at one time did also fit into this cycle, but in recent centuries this has not been the case. Exploiting resources and focusing on financial prosperity has blinded almost all humans to going along with this short-term gain strategy. Here we are now, and for some time, at a point where it is very obvious to simple creatures and plants that there is something all life changing happening to these patterns on Earth. Will the wheels of progress stop and re-evaluate this pending scenario? This is not likely without pressure from the masses. If only each of us all could take more interest in how things are made, grown, and discarded. Perhaps these considerations could help bring a better context to our own choices and habits, and to an overall noticeable positive change in the environment. The Earth does not really care what humankind does to it. The Earth has many times and will again reset. It does not matter to the Earth how long it takes and what sacrifices will be made… it will reset. 

Therefore, my Letter to The Earth is really more of a hopeful plea to the humans on the Earth to respect the IT, and to make the small changes in your circle to try and work in harmony with IT. 


  • Mark Puigmarti (Canada) 
Cushion Earth (2022), Doris Purchase, Mixed media, 20 x 20 in. Not For Sale. 

From Peru 


Hello Sacsayhuaman, 😉
It was in Peru that I got to know you
before then, I’m sorry to say
I didn’t think about you very much
It was in Peru that I started noticing you
I sat in your chair and felt your power
I saw some of your scars
I learned that you messaged humans through your plants
spoke to them through dreams
that was long ago
Humans don’t seem to be that in tune any more
In Cusco, they yelled out of the car windows
I was not the sexy one
They drove me to you
It was there that my journey began
I felt the call of you through those drivers
I came to know you there
a newly married woman
I felt I could relate to you
I reached high into your thin veil
it took my breath away
I didn’t notice it was torn
The Inca people knew how to hold up against attack
the attack of your intense trembles
The place we call Peru introduced me to you
your mountains and your steamy jungles.
I was made to feel like a Sacsayhuman there
but that joke aside
I noticed you for the first time
On our way home I saw the Twin Towers for the last time.
Stay safe, be well Mother Earth, 

~xo Doris 

Hello Mother Earth
I prayed for a child in Korea and once again
climbed high to say hi to you
I needed your medicines there
I saw a few more of your scars
caused by humans fighting over your bounty of flesh
It was a wonderful visit
So many surprises
like the pile of rocks that I wedged my prayer into
I felt hopeful in Korea
noticing respect for you in everything I saw.
Stay safe, be well Mother Earth, 

~xo Doris 


From Toronto 


Hi again Mother Earth
Have you heard this one
“Hey mother want another”
good grief: /
Those guys have no idea
that there there will be no other
If I know you
like I know me
we’ll take the flattery
No harm in those words
it’s what’s in the asphalt that we worry about
I had my sweet baby
I packed him cozy in a carriage
it didn’t feel like much protection
I questioned my desire
to add another human
to this place we call 6ix
Bloor Street felt brutal
pollution, filth and noisy tires
My tired eyes were noticing
through fresh lenses
that a new prescription is needed.
Stay safe, be well, 

~xo Doris 


From Iceland 


I love the way you can spew out
what’s boiling inside you
One of the stories our guide told us
just by chance
was on the way to Thingvellir
The villagers used a geyser
a void to dump and dump
they were none the wiser
when you sprayed it all out
like an egg, in its shell,
cooked in a microwave
You made things messy
a back at you happenstance
I thought about you a lot
you and your tectonic plates
soaking in your geothermal heat
You are downright HOT
I wanted to see your northern lights
you denied me an excited display
You showed me your ghost lights
and your blood moon
I thought about you and the moon
the one that brings you waves of pleasure
Those waves can get demanding
the next soak never comes too soon it seems
I’ve been wondering Mother Earth
Do you feel blue?
In some photos I see
you look blue
perhaps a little purple too
I just want you to know that in my own small way
I am here for you and because of you
I’ve been working at being more green
it’s hard to be as green as I want to be
Tell me what to do.
Stay safe, be well Mother Earth,  

~xo Doris 

P.S. You are beautiful 

  • Doris Purchase (Canada)  
High Arctic, Ice Melt (2022), Janet Read, Oil on linen, 60 x 48 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear earth,

You are our mother, our body, our breath and life. You nourish us with food, with green spaces
and clean air. We pollute, exploit, deface and defile your bounty. Your creatures live in the
shadow of our greed, our insatiable desire for more and our inability to build a sustainable
economy that includes the non-human world.

I spent an artist’s residency on the west coast of Newfoundland through Pouch Cove. It was
some years after the closure of the cod fishery but the ramifications of that closure were still
evident in the loss of a living tradition, the loss of fish, the generations without work or the
ability to live a life on the sea. Transfer of skills from father to son halted and emigration to
other provinces was accelerated. Hulks of boats rotted on the shore. This poem arose from
this experience. Stella Maris means, star of the sea.

stella maris

we have ransacked her deep cupboards
turned out her pockets
swept the last coins
from her floor
and she

all her green sheets
folded and threadbare
shrouded in
dream tangled
skeins, thrummed
against thought,

folded like waves
over and over
stones smooth in the sea

stone as food,
as wheat,
as honey, amber
sweet in the mouth

stone as fish


our question
more? more?

stone our desert answer

  • Janet Read (Canada) 
Bark Portraits (2022), Susan Ruptash, Pulp Paper, 20 x 4 x 3 in.  Click to Purchase

Letter coming soon.  

  • Susan Ruptash (Canada) 
Mother’s Tears (Diptych) (2023), Quan Steele, Cork, paper, acrylic vinyl, 23 x 38 x 2 in.  Click to Purchase  

Dear Mother Earth, 

I am watching you snowing this morning. ARE you in distress? I can’t help to wonder, are the snowflakes your tears? Are you crying in happiness or in sadness? It doesn’t matter if your tears are liquid or solid. They mean to renew refresh restart. Your tears bring abundant harvest to our crops. Your tears bring joy hope promise to our spirits. Your cry your happy tears.  

As you see plastic mountains transforming your landscapes. Trash blocking your waterways leading to flooding. Plastic waste making its way from land to the sea. Wildlife confusing plastic for food and starving. Invisible nanoplastics in water, in food, in our blood. Despair from infertility, ever increasing varieties of cancer. You cry your sad tears.  

Not until each of us alerts over-plastic product consumption, cuts down one-time used plastic, pays attention to our fragile environment, cares for issues related to your health, takes the responsibility into our hands – then there is hope. 

The whole world is putting an effort to slow down the production of waste. REUSE RECYCLE REPURPOSE RETHINK before consuming, plus all sorts of solutions are supposed to work, but the waste still increases by multiple tons each miniut. There is no single source to point the finger of blame.  


I am crying with you.  

  • Quan Steele (Canada) 
Earth Pigments 1 (2023), Janice Mason Steeves, Acrylic on paper on panel, 12 x 12 in. Click to Purchase.  

Dear Mother Earth,  

I am so blessed to live close to nature where I can appreciate the wildflowers growing in my field, the smell of the soil after a rain, and the sound of the wind through the needles of the white pine trees. I grieve for the devastation that is happening to you and the massive losses. I can’t stop them. I can just love you fiercely. 

  • Janice Mason Steeves (Canada) 
Memento Mori (2022), Carol Grant Stevens, Mixed media, 16 x 20 in. Click to Purchase.  
Ornamental Atoll (2022), Carol and Charles Stevens, Beaded foam, 6 x 6 x 6 in. Click to Purchase

The clock ticks. Like the beat of a heart, involuntary, nonstop, equivalent to the drips of the melting Ice cap, time is continuing, and humans seem not to notice. Their own carbon emissions have created this continuum. The warming of our Mother Earth, the great Goddess which humankind occupies, could mean their mass distinction. When will they notice? 

Does the love of money blind man? Is it the root of all evil? Humans have the capacity to create, destroy, rebuild, but can their greed break the bonds of energy with their own planet? The love of money has the capacity to destroy the vibrations that link us as one. Everything is energy, consistently vibrating at differing levels, nothing rests, the clock continues to tick. 

Dear Mother Earth, help man see, drop the scales from our, eyes, eliminate the deep fakes that alter their beliefs. Let, man hear the clock tick, and restore you, erasing the marks, and scars left as they trod the surface of the planet. This, continuum must come to a halt, let the pendulum reverse, so, all living creatures may vibrate in your rebirth. 

  • Carol Grant Stevens (U.S.A.) 
Humanity: Weapon of Mass Extinction (2023), Charles Stevens, Mixed media, 22 x 15 x 22 in. Click to Purchase.   
Ornamental Atoll (2022), Carol and Charles Stevens, Beaded foam, 6 x 6 x 6 in. Click to Purchase

Dear planet Earth… 

You are beautiful and magnificent, providing so much that we humans proliferated to the point of excess. We acquired knowledge and intelligence, which implies aptitude in grasping truths. 

Sadly, losing our sense of wonder and connection with nature, we misuse resources, manipulating matter and ideas into toxic elements, supporting belief systems in conflict with reality. 

Given our seeming lack of capacity to govern, or self regulate within the inhabitants, and uniformly provide welfare, tranquility, and prosperity for all, may surely lead to our demise. 

You have provided the necessary tools and environment to accomplish much, so will we have the presence of mind to use them wisely, for the benefit of all. 

  • Charles Stevens (U.S.A) 
How Can I Make Art Without Damaging the Environment? (2020-2022), Joanna Swann, Cabinet and 12 cards, 24 x 12 diameter. Not For Sale.  



With knowledge comes responsibility. Given what we now know about the potentially catastrophic impact of human activity on our planet, it is incumbent on us to change the way we do things. If we don’t alter our behaviour, this will imply that we care little about the consequences of global heating and plastic pollution and, more generally, about our role in the Earth’s sixth mass extinction. I don’t deny that action needs to be taken collectively and that major obstacles to improvement lie in the ways in which human societies are currently organised. Nonetheless as individuals we need to take responsibility for those aspects of our situation over which we have control.

Those of us who are artists need to re-evaluate and, in many cases, change the materials and methods we use. I propose that all fine art produced from this time on should be made only from sustainable natural materials (preferably excluding those derived from animals). This is a bare minimum requirement. It leaves unaddressed environmental issues relating to tools and processes, transportation, packaging, and presentation: artists should be concerned about these also.

To save the planet as we know it, we need new attitudes, new thoughts, new processes.

So, what are you giving up? What are you going to do differently?

Kind regards

Joanna Swann (U.K.)

East Greenland (2010), Ernestine Tahdel, Photography, 40 x 54 in. Click to Purchase.  

Letter to the Earth,   

The stark beauty of the arctic landscape north and south has fascinated me for many years. 

My first trip to the Antarctic in 1998 was awe inspiring and instilled in me a longing to return. 

I was able to return 5 years later and was still overwhelmed by the natural beauty of this continent. 

The landscape was edged in my mind, but I had to realize that in the interval of 5 years, the land had changed a great deal. 

As glaciers retreated, the Antarctic peninsula showed more snow-free landings and some of the penguin species had retreated down the coast as the temperature got too warm and they lost their habitat  

My first realization of global warming on a large scale was evident before my eyes… 

Can we have an impact to retrieve what we have already lost or at least stop so that we will not lose even more of what has been given to us. 

I hope and believe that if enough of us try in every way we can, be it through creativity, or by example, we are still able to preserve what we have been given. 

I see that as a promise to the Earth that we will speak up and take action. 

  • Ernestine Tahedl (Canada)  
Pandemic #4 (2020), Judith Tinkl, Recycled denim, 47 x 23 in. Click to Purchase 


For over 55 years I have had some neighbours, a row of maple trees down the road from our place. 

They were there long before I arrived, probably planted when the roads were laid out after the land was cleared and farming started. So, they are not the original inhabitants but were settlers just like the rest of us. 

During the last year I have been walking past them several times a week and enjoying their majesty and power. It was obvious that they were elderly, just like the maples surrounding our old schoolhouse property which were planted in the middle 1860s. I felt like they were my friends, and we had a conversation every time I walked by. 

Then one day in April I looked down the road and saw that they had been cut down, all that remained were stumps and branches lying around. Eventually the stumps were dug up with massive machines and all their remains disappeared. Now every time I walk by, I look at the patches of bare soil, where they had been and think of them. I feel a sense of loss, and sadness. 

Then I look across the road and see a new row of neighbours. A few years ago, a variety of trees were planted by Rob, our neighbor who loves trees too. He has been looking after them and replacing the ones that didn’t survive, including the ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer. They are getting big now – teenagers in tree life. I have started to talk to them. There are three different kinds of oaks that hang on to their leaves forever and they are the first ones I pass on the way and the last ones I pass on the way back. 

Since I read that wonderful book “The Hidden Life of Trees”, I have been thinking about intelligence, how we define it and how we assume that we are the intelligent ones. We have to start respecting all the different kinds of intelligence that allow all forms of life to evolve and exist. Some of my most respected ones are bees, ants, tube wasps, paper wasps, and trees who actually were, as far as we know, using the internet way before we thought of it. They communicate with the mycelium underground to send nourishment to trees who need it, and the network charges them a percentage – wow!! 

Just after I wrote this the article (about trees)popped up in the Toronto Star. It seemed very timely and also a fascinating insight into something most of us have never really thought about. I look forward to developing some works that address the ideas of networks and communication. 

  • Judith Tinkl (Canada) 
Monarch Requiem (2016), Grazyna Tonkiel, Paper mâché, stainless steel, dried milkweed, print on cotton canvas, sand, 71 x 40 x 14 in. Click to Purchase.  

Beloved Earth, 

Mother of all living things, I hear your cry for help with the roar of unimaginable, catastrophic winds and inconceivable downpours of rain. 

I have been listening for years to your tiny Butterfly messengers that whisper the story you yearn to convey.  

The story of lives lost by creatures small and large. 

One billion Monarch Butterflies, three billion Birds representing hundreds of species, 85% of wild Mammals, 68% of the total Wild Animal population perished in the last 5 decades. If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be the equivalent of emptying North and South America, Europe, China, Oceania and Africa. This is the scale of destruction. 

It is wildlife massacres all done by the smartest mammal on the planet, homo sapiens – Latin: “wise man,” us, humanity. Humans have forgotten that we are not a separate entity on this Planet. We are part of you, Earth, and you are part of us. You have been abused, polluted, poisoned, fracted, wounded. 

This is an inconvenient truth. 

I will do my part by taking care of your Butterfly messengers, which will always find a safe haven in my garden and protect you the best way I can.  

I hope the rest of my fellowmen will listen to your calls for help. May we all stop the convenient dismissal of facts and act on them. 

Unless we do the right things, the right things will not happen to us. 

I will end my letter with the words I always start my days with. Mother Earth, heal yourself and forgive us for all our wrongdoing. 

With love, 

  • Grazyna Tonkiel (Canada)
Still from Meta-Morphosis (2022), Norma Vieira, Film, 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Click to view.  

Between Despair and Hope 

Daughter: -Mom 

Mother: – Say it my dear! 

Daughter: – Your name EARTH, GAIA, PACHAMAMA shows us the generous mother who nourishes and welcomes her children with abnegation, tenderness. You are imposing but simple. Great in your magnitudes, diversity, and exuberance. You shelter mysteries and unfathomable lives. 

Mother: – What do you mean by this? 

Daughter: – You have been plundered in every way and you resist! Until when? 

Mother: – As a good loving mother I forgive my children’s insults. But I have shown how harshly I have been treated. I react by raising the earth’s temperature like a hypertension, I explode evoking my anger in the form of global warming, storms, cataclysms, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, floods, and droughts. 

Daughter: – Why did all this happen? Where did the disobedience to the ancestral knowledge start. 

Mother: – You went in search of an era that promised development and well-being for all, but which turned out to be a huge factory of momentary desires that did not fill the existential void. The search for financial prosperity and individual selfishness became collective. 

Daughter: How so? 

Mother: -HAVING become the most important word. The BEING completely forgotten. 

Daughter: – but in the contemporary world, all countries agree that changes are urgently needed. We have even made documents like a letter to you (The Earth Charter) which is a document that lists and declares the ethical principles that are essential for composing a more just, peaceful and sustainable global society for the 21st century. 

The purpose of the letter was to inspire people around the world towards a new sense of global interdependence and responsibility for now and future generations. 

It is a perspective of hope and a call to action. 

It is a mea culpa to you of us humans(?) and proposes principles that would be essential for a global, peaceful and sustainable restoration. 

Mother: – Yes, she glimpses a gesture of the prodigal son returning home. Feeling defeated and proposing a more humane, sustainable, socially oriented life, intending that everyone be inspired by a new sense of global interdependence. 

Daughter: – and isn’t that good? 

Mother: – darling, it is an attempt to repair the offenses and damages! I would say that the gesture is very commendable. 

Daughter: – So you forgive us? 

Mother: – It is the dawn of 2023 and WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Very little compared to what has already been destroyed and continues to be devastated. 

Daughter: – Do we have some hope, a chance? 

Mother: – Yes, my love, go back to your ancestral home, listen to their breathing and the throbbing of their words. It is so simple. 

Daughter: – and who can assist and help us? 

Mother: – Everyone must help each other mutually but especially artists must turn their works around and research ways to call everyone’s awareness with the strength of their art convoking on everyone to make a huge network around the world. 

Daughter: – Do we have this power? 

Mother: – only sensibility and love can bring me back to life full of energy and compassion and greater love. And you my child have this power of creativity. Express this power and together we will win. 

Daughter: – So, if we can be the transmitters, making a network of awareness of people so that we can stop the destruction of forests, preserving the remaining areas, helping in reforestation, and contributing with actions that protect and balance the environment, HOPE IS ALIVE! 

So, I am on the right path. I can contribute with the research I am doing with mushrooms and cocoons. My latest project is called Resurgence which as Anna Tsing says: – 

“Resurgence is the force of the life of the forest, its ability to spread its seeds and roots and runners to reclaim places that have been deforested “. I am your daughter Norma Vieira, a visual artist living in Campinas, São Paulo – 

Brazil. I am part of the Broken Forests Group made up of artists from various parts of the world (Canada, Italy, Poland, Germany, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States).  We are coming together to pollinate our ideas around the world about the devastation of the forest, the environment and human relations…) 

Daughter: – I beg you to bless us, Mother Earth. 

December 31st. 2022
Norma Veira (Brazil) 

  • Norma Vieira (Brazil)  
What Lies Beneath? (2022), Lillian Michiko Yano,  Ink, coloured pencil on Tama and shoji paper, 72 x 39 in (x 4). Click to Purchase Panel 1, Panel 2, Panel 3, Panel 4.  


We all point fingers at others for climate crisis…
governments, world leaders, multinational corporations, oil
and gas companies. We all expect someone else to slow the
imminent destruction of the planet. But none of us is willing
to give up “a better life” and return to a simpler life without
the ongoing glut of new inventions offered to us.
So who is ultimately responsible for the environmental
crisis? Take, for examples, clearcutting of trees. When we
are aghast at the clearcutting of old-growth forests, we have
huge outcry against logging companies and the governments
that are silent. If we look at the thousands of companies
who give us products made from wood, are we willing to
stop using paper towels and clean messes by returning
to cleaning cloths? Are we willing to go back to using
handkerchiefs instead of disposable tissues? Are we willing
to stop using paper for everything from printing computer
messages and articles, to producing a plethora of advertising?
The list goes on and on – carboard containers, wrapping
paper, memo pads, paper decorations, etc.etc.
Are we willing to go back to horse and buggies instead of
providing a car for every member of the family? Are we
willing to stop nuclear testing? Are we willing to stop wars
which pollute the global air with bomb after bomb? Are we willing to rape the earth for lithium to fuel cars when oil runs
out by 2050? So what will we use to warm our homes in the
winter and cool them in the summer? Are we willing to give
up plastic containers and bring our own containers for fast
food? Are we willing to clean up our garbage in faraway
oceans, not in my backyard, which are killing people as well
as millions of marine life?
Take a good hard look in the mirror. We are all consumers
which drive the companies and government to produce more
and more, rather than less and less, because we demand more
and more.
We ask for forgiveness by the earth, express our love of the
beauty of the earth, mourn the extinctions of wildlife and
plants, condemn clearcutting and dumping plastic into the
oceans, cause famine and extreme weather.
So what are we really willing to give up to protect the earth? 

  • Lillian Michiko Yano (Canada)
Irreversible Sorrow (2022), Akira Yoshikawa, Plaster, found rock, flour, pencil, 6 x 48 x 48 in, Click to Purchase

Letter to the earth.
I care for you because:
orange hibiscus
Lookout Trail
yellow tail
ginko leaf
Nachi Falls
fiddle heads
Cascade Mountain
nasubi eggplant
spider conch
mongo squid
Emerald Lake
Kumano Kodo
sea urchin
satsuki rain
Point Reyes
green tea
Inland Sea
Amazing and Beautiful 

  • Akira Yoshikawa (Canada)