When we bought the bed and breakfast in 2008, cleaning up the forest and walking around the property became a part of our routine.
While we walked and cleaned, we became enamoured with collecting natural materials. Some of the material seemed so precious that I knew I wanted to do something special with it.
After years of working as a multi-media artist, I became acutely aware of the toxicity involved in creating with widely used art materials. It seemed like a natural fit to start creating with plants and flowers found in nature.
The process itself has a healing effect. Not only do I experience the preventative health benefits of shinrin-yoku/forest bathing, I also enjoy the light physical exercise and the sounds and smells that soothe the senses. On an emotional level, being in nature helps ease heightened emotions and brings a sense of peace and contentment.
It is an opportunity to connect to nature and myself, to focus on intentions and release through creative expression.
Many Indigenous leaders from various cultures have visited The Hive. They have encouraged participants to offer various elements of nature during ancient ceremonies and rituals including flowers, herbs, rocks, etc. I really love this idea.
I began the journey of creating with natural materials by making mandalas – a calming interactive form of meditation that is designed to help access answers from within.
I also enjoy re-arranging things in nature and creating figures with stones, leaves and other objects. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, I created a depiction of our family using some of the most beloved flowers and plants that I had collected and dried.
Being in nature and creating helps ease the busy mind and nurture the creative spirit, allowing access to different states of awareness.
Elsii Faria, Co-Owner/Director