Making mobile sculptures is a fascination, and a thread I have picked up regularly over 22 years of exploration. Now I am totally emersed in “balance”, it engages me entirely. For me, ‘Balanced-Earth’ are physical manifestations of my own striving for balance, through experiencing the effects of stress on my body. I see this same struggle on a world-scale as we observe eco-systems on the brink of collapse and the need for us all to return to a more balanced relationship with our planet.
Eleven years’ ago, every aspect of my life was halted when I developed rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune condition, where the body attacks itself. Joints become very painful, sometimes deformed, so movement is hard to endure. I had reached the apex of imbalance in my own body.
Even before this happened I was deeply concerned about ecological tipping points: global temperature rises; Siberian permafrost melting; ocean acidification; habitat and species destruction; the very present risk of uncontrollable runaway climate change. Seen through the prism of my own experience I was witnessing a global auto-immune disease in action.
I try to be responsible in the choices I make for myself and the world: how I eat, travel and heat my home. Balanced-Earth stems from this. The vessel frames utilise offcuts and unused materials, such as screen-printed nylon from my jewellery making past. Seemingly waste materials with stories, and a renewed purpose.
How am I building and sharing “balance”? I create in my sculptures a pivotal point, where balance meets imbalance. The handmade, eco-friendly vessels are poised for movement, then a push, a breeze, and their dance begins. Balanced-Earth stem from a need for balance, they represent physical balance, and in the living plants they hold and protect, they evoke a need for us to engender balance with our natural environment.
Karen Whiterod, 2021