In the last few years, I have started to paint issues that are important to me.
Painting and video art have been useful mediums for me to express some of my concerns about society and the way things are declining or not being discussed. Some of these issues have included, animal rights, the environment and equality for women.
My latest painting is called, ‘Stop the Black Snake’ and is a protest painting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This has been of particular importance to me because of the negative environmental consequences the pipeline could have. If the oil spills, we not only have polluted water but also environmental destruction of living creatures. animals and land. Polluted water will also affect the physical health of people.
Not only is this an environmental issue but it is also a heritage issue to do with the land belonging to the Sioux whose ancestors are buried within this vicinity.
Since the peaceful protest began, this was met by authorities and DAPL with violence and abuse towards the people protesting at Standing Rock. There has also been little mainstream media coverage to show this terrible situation.
When I see this being ignored and misunderstood, I feel sad for the future of our environment and I am also saddened to see people being so badly treated and abused. What does this violence say about democracy and the right for people to stress their thoughts and ideas peacefully in our society? It doesn’t offer the world much hope.
Sadly this means that unless respect of the land and others doesn’t take place there will always be discontent and divisions. This is never going to move us forward.
To achieve greatness, I feel politicians need to be inclusive and listen. Without this, I feel there is not much hope for society. So, what does one do? People can’t accept what they don’t believe in. Therefore, people will continue to raise awareness, to protest and express themselves because that is what makes us human and brings meaning to our existence. The water and environment are very important to me and therefore I say NoDAPL. Water is Life. Stop the Black Snake!