Category Archives: symbolism and climate change

Kali as a symbol of Climate Change

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma, monotype, 14.5X17.5 in

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma, monotype & chine colle, 14.5x 17.5 in

Art, Earth Day & Climate Change

While creating an entry for the upcoming show; Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA; the myth and stories of the Hindu Goddess Kali, jumped into my mind. 

The theme this year is our relationship to the environment. And for me, that is the heartbreaking news of climate change which is everywhere around us and has been ongoing for a long while. According to recent UN reports, we are nearly out of time. We have about twelve years perhaps.

I have always seen climate change in symbolic forms as if it were happening through a series of images from a dream. This dream which is shared by all of the life on our planet; is either going to be changed by all of us working together or it will continue growing into a nightmare. 

My image shows the “ruins” of our lives and civilizations in the upper left, while also showing the “forest of life” to the right. So the image can be read in either direction. The question becomes: Are we going to towards the ruins of our planet’s ecosystem? Or are we going to rebirth our planet?  And while Kali dances between the two possible futures; at her feet, we see the poisons that we have already left behind on earth, the plastic, the death, the radiation. 

The Hindu Goddess Kali is a complex, ancient symbol of change, death and rebirth, healing, cycles of time, and opportunity. Although most traditional images show her only in her terrible death aspect, she is also seen as the mother, who gives us the courage to hope while she helps cut away ignorance with her wicked sword. 

The Los Angeles Printmaking Society is a national non-profit artist-run organization. The juror, Marion Estes has selected many wonderful hand-pulled prints for this exhibition.  I hope you will see our LA Printmaking Spring Show at Eagle Rock from April 5-April 30, which in conjunction with many other Earth Day-related activities. 

Update: 

 I have a few photos to share from the opening.

Exhibition Signage

2019-Sweet Earth-Bitter Earth exhibition signage

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma

The Age of Kali, Kathleen Thoma

gallery view of Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth, Center for the Arts at Eagle Rock, LA

Gallery view of Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth, Center for the Arts at Eagle Rock, LA

link to info on exhibition