Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dog Man with Black Tail 1999

The Great Forgetting refers to the wealth of knowledge that our culture lost when we adopted our new civilized lifestyle. The knowledge that allowed indigenous cultures to survive, the knowledge that we had once also been tribal and the understanding that we were but one mere culture of thousands. All of this disappeared in a few short generations.  By on January 26, 2014 in News (Pulled off the Internet after reading a Facebook post about the Great Forgetting).

As a child I was more aware of what was essential and vital to me. Fortunate to live in the country, I observed much of what was wild around me on my solo horseback rides in the open spaces around my home. I tried to teach myself to follow animal prints in the dirt, and worked at telling time by the position of the sun in the sky. My favorite books were about people surviving in the wilderness, learning how to live off the land before they got rescued.  Now, as an adult, I'm not so much a part of these natural things.  When I do experience nature, it's more by chance--when I'm driving or riding my bike, playing soccer in the evenings in an adult soccer league.

When I first happened on the Great Forgetting, I couldn't stop thinking about it for this reason: I've always made images that combine people and animals, turning them into one being.  I've never questioned these images, but I've also never known where they came from.  Now I'm excited by the possibility that it's a 10,000 year old subconscious remembering of being part of that older order when we were all mixed up together:  animals, humans, plants, the weather--all that was alive and vital to our existence.  I imagine it to come from a time before there was a separation, before humanity created a civilization where we could distance ourselves from anything that was alive.  What I'm remembering is only a glimmer, but a glimmer none-the-less. And  I like to imagine that when people see these images, they may also have a bit of that same glimmer.

*I found two references to the Great Forgetting.  One was a book by Daniel Quinn, called "The Story of B" and another book by Calvin Luther Martin called the "Great Forgetting".  "The Story of B" is a novel, "The Great Forgetting" is not.  I have not read either.


  1. Holly, I simply LOVE your art! Every single piece I have seen so far!

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