“One” explores the interconnection and inseparability of people and the natural world. It
conveys the idea of our Oneness with all that surrounds us.

In the past century, humanity has drifted away from Nature and has sought to dominate and
exploit it. We have alienated ourselves from the systems that support human life on this planet
and constitute our very essence. Having come to view Nature as a separate entity, we find
ourselves restless and disconnected from Her life force, Her innate peace and tranquility. Humanity has reduced the natural world to a resource to exploit for its sole benefit,
disregarding the fundamental, natural rights that belong to the rest of creation. Scorning the
universal laws that govern life on our planet, our ego has battled to dominate Nature, oblivious
to the fact that we are a single interconnected organism whose continued health depends on
all beings working together as a cohesive, co-creative force.

Our antagonistic relationship to Nature is expressed through the contrast of flat black and
white human faces against Nature’s colors, reliefs, and diversity of textures. The realistic
rendition of the human face shows our need to define, outline, and analyze through solid,
recognizable forms, revealing a simplistic and limited understanding of the world. The
recognizable outlines of the human form dissolve in a web of abstract complexity, challenging
rigid boundaries and predictable patterns, on a plane where meaning is found in harmonious
and beautiful formations. Visually, this idea materializes in the fusing of various materials, such
as aluminum, tree bark, sand, and glass to name a few. Shine and glitter reinforce the contrast
between the man-made world and Nature’s organic patterns and earthy textures, while also
exposing the damaging reality of microplastics pollution, traces of which have permeated every
crevice of the planet. Universal energy blends all these distinct elements that form Nature’s
complex systems. Humanity’s prototype peaks through the web of life, creating tension and
rending its tissues. The result is a fragmented landscape that mimics the fundamental ways in
which human activities, such as deforestation, agriculture, development, and extraction, have
disrupted the Earth’s natural fabric over the past two centuries. Earth’s altered landscapes
overlay and blend with the human face to further emphasize their oneness and suggest that
damage to one will inevitably harm the other.

Buried in the visuals is also the implication that Nature will ultimately overcome the
Anthropocene and recover its balance. Humanity will survive only if it becomes acutely aware
of its interconnectedness with all forms of life.

The series ultimate goal is to honor creation as a counterforce to destruction. The idea of
Oneness becomes a channel for elevating our consciousness. It opens our hearts to wonder and
humility, becoming a portal to love and compassion for all of creation.

GIL BRUVEL on the “One” Series:

I have observed the progress of Nevena’s artwork over several years. The “One” series shows her developing mastery of a rich visual and aesthetic vocabulary, as well as greater depth. Her earlier pieces evoke a turbulent creative period marked by a restless search for self. Conflict, contradiction, passion, dedication, frustration, and bold choices show the personality of a true artist who is driven by wonder and dedicated to perfecting self-expression both as it relates to the subject matter and technique.

“One” is, in way, a culmination of that early, painful period in an artist’s journey of becoming. It simultaneously accentuates and unmasks the complexity of our human experience, revealing a mastery of color and composition. The intricate texture suggests the many layers of our personality; our experiences accumulate like strata and give depth to who we are. Through their cracks and voids lies our essence, as exemplified by the protruding human face. The earthy textured fragments symbolize the layers of our emotions, past memories, and the physical world which obscures our underlying consciousness. They are also a visual reminder of the natural world to which humans are intimately interconnected and that offers a window to further understand ourselves.

© Nevena Bentz 2019