Our Land
by Benjamin Rusnak

project STATEMENT

Emerging from the womb of the Earth, we are reborn through our experiences in the natural world. As a two-time national park artist-in-residence, I explore the importance of wild places in our lives. Venturing into external landscapes, we inexorably delve into our internal wilderness in an intertwined expedition. I explore the cycles of loss, genesis, and rebirth that we all experience on our journeys.

Exploring the natural world is discovering our place in it—how nature changes us and how we alter it. In a world increasingly filled with artificial and sterile overstimulation, we need the natural stimulation of all our senses through dirt, plants, sun, rocks, clouds—and sweat and blood. Time spent in the wild can be the release and cure for what ails the soul of modern society.

This planet sustains and nourishes us, and as the only species that can alter the natural world on a global scale, it is our responsibility to be good stewards in this symbiotic relationship. These images represent the external and internal magic of the wilderness, our transcendent exploration of it, and how we may learn to better ourselves and our lifeline. Venturing into the darkness, we seek the light.

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