About the Exhibit
Opening Reception: Sunday May 21, 2-4pm | More Info
Susan Shanti Gibian’s Earthworks reflect the ephemeral and transient qualities of life. The photographic documentation of her site-specific installations conveys the inevitability of change, death and decay. Honoring her relationship with the environment she engages in a collaborative dance with nature. Her offering of love and gratitude for the Earth is reciprocated with peace and serenity. This process creates openness and vulnerability, allowing the beauty and fragility of life to become visible.
“An attitude of curiosity develops, and a willingness to live in a place of uncertainty, where the outcome is unknown…It is from this space that I allow forms and images to emerge. The heart is a form that repeatedly presents itself in my site-specific work. It arises from a feeling of gratitude and love for the earth, and for the peace and rejuvenation I receive when I am in the forest. It is here that I experience a profound connection and sense of oneness with nature. It is here that I am aware of my intimate relationship with the earth beneath my feet, the trees that silently bear witness to my presence, the stream that flows below the hill, as well as the birds, animals, and plants that reside here together in this fragile ecosystem.
“The grasses that I sculpt with are invasive grasses, which prevent more delicate native species of plants from thriving. Pulling these invasive grasses is a small act that I perform to restore balance to this environment. As I create a form I am struck by a sense of wonder and awe to see what precious treasure lies hidden beneath the grass. The forms that have emerged from the forest floor speak in a primal and universal language. They are symbols that resonate within the heart.”
About the Artist
Susan Shanti Gibian has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in California and New York. Her site-specific installations were exhibited in two solo shows: For the Earth, at Teatown Lake Reservation, Ossining, NY and Ephemeral Wonders, at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Cross River, NY. These works were created by removing invasive species of plants to form sculptures, and incorporated natural objects from the forest floor. Photographs of these works were exhibited at the Teatown Lake Reservation Gallery, the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, CA, and the Unframed Artist’s Gallery in New Paltz, NY.
New to this collection is a series of works that document the passage of time of the Ephemeral Wonders installations in the forest, including images of the environment before the artist began her work, as well as the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The juried four-person exhibit, Sticks, Stones, Fiber and Skin, at Gallery Route One, Point Reyes, CA, featured Gibian’s installations constructed from stones, beach sand, and other natural objects. Photographs of her site-specific and sculptural works were displayed at the juried group show Elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA.
Sharing her passion and enthusiasm for the creative process, Susan has been teaching art for 20 years. She developed and facilitated the workshop: Earth Art: Co-Creating with Nature, sponsored by Teatown Lake Reservation and the Westchester Community College. She currently teaches classes in painting and meditation at the Westchester Community College.
Susan has given public lectures on the topics of environmental art and the creative process at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, the JFK University Arts and Consciousness Gallery, Sky Lake Lodge Meditation Center, Teatown Lake Reservation, and Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
The recipient of a Puffin Foundation Artist’s Grant and four Innovative Curriculum grants from the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center, Gibian is also a member of the Women Environmental Artists Directory and the ArtsWestchester Artists Directory.
Susan Shanti Gibian was born in Mount Kisco, New York. She received a BS in Visual Arts from the State University of New Paltz, as well as a New York State Teacher Certification in Art Education. She received an MA in Arts and Consciousness from the John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, California.