Terra Viva

Creation Date



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ceramic forms in mud, flora, beeswax, damar, and ash


Dimensions: various dimensions

This piece is part of a large work entitled Body of Earth.

Artist Statement

For the past two years, I have been re-examining my relationship with the world around me through several lenses. The culmination of this research has led to a series of succinct conclusions: (1) the human experience is intrinsically linked to the experience of the earth, and maintaining the vitality of the environment is ultimately to be considered an act of self-interest and self-preservation for humanity; (2) non-anthropocentric modes of thought are paramount to enacting a positive shift in our global Natural crisis by way of socio-political and systemic alteration to the way we perceive and interact with the environment; (3) non-human bodies and the body of Earth in its great breadth are to be venerated and treated with shared respect as one would with a human body, else we face the continued fury of the forces of Nature.

There is an intermingling of philosophical, theological, and ecological study reflected in these proposed theories, and it is through my interdisciplinary art practice that I find an outlet for which to break down and translate these theories to my audience.

A series of ceramic sculptures, caked in mud, beeswax, and a range of flora, portray earthly artifacts as living forms. One single-channel film shows the complex, raw relationship between a human-like body and the surrounding earth—echoing ancient notions of the land as womb and tomb to mortal beings. Another film depicts a haunting, earthly spirit, crying out and pleading to an audience that cannot hear Her, only leading the figure into a frustrated, ferocious rage, with all the might and power of a tremendous storm. An immense mass of dirt fills the once empty space of the gallery floor; a notably mundane natural material becomes a fine art installation, breaking up, impeding, redirecting the movement of human footsteps and raising questions of value and vitality in a usually unremarked non-human body.

It is my hope with this collection of work, that members of my audience might venture to interact with these notions and materials in an intimate and perhaps foreign exchange—examine the interconnections between yours, the human body, and the living earth that surrounds. Take a quiet moment to consider the ways in which a human and non-human body share in the core of their being, a purpose. It is within the best interest of all bodies on this planet, for us to critically analyze and rediscover the inherent unity under the surface of our experiences.


© Alek K. de Dóchas, 2017. Photo credit: Allison Corona.

Exhibit Images


eco art, video art, installation art, environmental art, nature, performance