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Dragonflies – Danielle Andrews

Dragonflies’ was primarily made during lockdown. The world was on standstill and walks in our local forest were the perfect thing to soothe a restless mind. Every time I ventured out, often taking similar paths, I became more aware of the different layers and sounds that were present. Crunching of leaves beneath my feet, soft raindrops in a pool of water – drawing attention to one specific thing at a time in nature brings the mind to the present moment and gives us a sense of peace. 

There are similarities between the lifecycle of the dragonfly to one’s own life and spiritual journey. From birth, a dragonfly goes through several stages before being able to venture out into the world and fly. During this process, the insect must shed its exoskeleton multiple times before and after leaving the water in which it is born. There are many faith-related connotations to this, but it also dives into what we were all experiencing during this time. 

This project was created in an intuitive way. Letting things unfold organically, I believe, provides more space for serendipitous moments to occur. As John O’Donohue writes in his book ‘The Four Elements‘, “the Spontaneous is a vital spiritual force. It has a secret kinship with the unknown; like the unknown, it lacks predictability and is surprising”. I made room for anything to happen, rather than having a straight-forward and controlled plan on how this work was going to evolve during these unprecedented times.

I am a South African/Swiss artist currently based in Nyon, Switzerland. Our experiences in this world are core to my practice and my curiosity has led me to make art with foundations that touch upon my own spirituality and on-going questioning about the relationship we have between ourselves, the earth we reside and the Divine. Using photography and other mediums such as painting and sculpture, I explore these ideas through visual matter to verbalise what cannot always be easily written. /

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