“The Embrace,” is an immersive installation of photography, video, fiber art and paper sculpture by Karen Olson. The work encompasses concepts of forest bathing, interconnectedness and interpersonal relationships.

Karen shares her thought process behind this new work.



Magnolia Stars

Ibegan softly walking in the forest alone. With each visit I became keenly aware that the trees had something incredibly important to offer. There was something there, something beyond the obvious before me. I began to study the science behind the forest atmosphere. As I stood quietly in the midst of the trees, examining their texture, following the vein-like branches reaching upward and out; I could image all the systems I was reading about, how the trees communicate with each other and with us on a molecular level, how they support each other as in a community. They/we are interconnected. The mycorrhizal network in the ground underneath the canopy of trees functions very much like our neural network. The compounds running through that network are made of the same material as the neurotransmitters in our brain. Elegant designs are at work that benefit us so much.

Forest bathing has had a profound effect on my psyche. I feel a sense of belonging and acceptance there. Can the benefits of being immersed in this community atmosphere teach me how to be fully present in my own wider community. Could the support I feel help me show compassion for others?

In these years we have lost much in the way of human connectedness. Each decision to do so has been fraught with fear. As we imagine the days going forward can this human-nature relationship help us? Do the trees have something to teach? This work is an exploration of interconnectedness. It is a deep, intimate conversation, an embrace.

. . .

Visit Karen Olson’s solo show, “The Embrace,” this summer at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, Maine.

For more information:

Previous StoryNext Story