Written by: Marney McDiarmid, artist featured in “The Narrative Dish II” in SCC Gallery
There is a word for it now: Solastalgia – the psychic pain we feel as the Earth deteriorates around us. Thinking about the effects of our changing climate can quickly lead me to paralysis. That isn’t a useful place to be – uncomfortable, unproductive, and resulting more often in despair than action. Creating beauty: this is the opposite. How can a connection to the wonder in the world function as an entry point into the conversations we need to be having about how to address the climate catastrophe? The table seemed like a good place to start. It is a metaphor for community and engagement. A shared meal can nourish both our bodies and our spirits while providing the venue for dialogue and change.
Solastalgia consists of four place settings. Each set is related to a specific aspect of our natural environment – seeds, coral, trees, rain forest. And each connects to a podcast or piece of print media that delves into a climate conversation on that specific topic – something you might have read or heard today that you bring to the table when it comes time to sit and share. The tableware features fantastical colours and forms, and it entices through its celebration of biodiversity. The accompanying media realistically depict the complexities of the challenges we face while also sparking a sense of wonder at the intelligence and organization of the natural world. Solastalgia is an invitation to the table, an invitation to commune with others as we grieve and perhaps, from our sadness and our anger, begin to make change.
Highway of Riches by Stephanie Nolen • www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/amazon-rainforestdeforestation-crisis/article37722932/
A New Approach to Marine Restoration by David Klinges • www.psmag.com/environment/a-new-approach-to-marinerestoration-3-d-printing-coral-reefs-with-ceramic
Warmer climate sees palms growing where they haven’t before • www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/warmer-climate-seespalm-trees-growing-where-they-haven-t-before-u-of-s-researcher-1.4591074