“Into the Wilderness I go, to Lose my Mind and Find my Soul” by Christa O’Neill in the KAC Vault Gallery

25 April 2024 10:00 am

“Into the Wilderness I go, to Lose my Mind and Find my Soul” by Christa O’Neill in the KAC Vault Gallery

Thursday, April 4 to Thursday, April 25, 2024

Mediums: Acrylic on Canvas and 3D sculpture

Artist Statement:

“Nature embraced her like no one else can she’d soak it up and it held her hand. A deep salty breath relaxed her lungs clearing out that space where anxiety hung. Birds chirped greetings to sing her blues away and cozy breezes knew just what to say. Those deep starry nights in wide open spaces danced with her dreams to wander new places. Clear water on her skin erased any self-doubt and the wildflowers knew they were her type of crowd.”–Rebekah Steen.

Spending time in nature can act as a balm for the busyness we face in today’s society. The constant need to achieve, to push, to keep going, getting up earlier, staying up later, the list goes on. Nature offers a different perspective. Nature says, “slow down, be still”. There have been countless studies of the effect nature can have on both the physical and intellectual aspects of our lives. The purpose of “Into the Wilderness I Go, to Lose My Mind and Find My Soul” comes from the research I have conducted, both purposefully and subconsciously, pertaining to what being in nature has helped me achieve and overcome. There have been times when being in nature has helped and encouraged me to release tears, anger, frustration, joy, and excitement all while experiencing the beauty in which I find myself. There has been no shame, judgment or need to put on a front. When in nature, there is no need for a mask. When in nature, I find myself to be in my true self versus a role I may play in a socially accepted manner. The more I am in nature, whether it be gardening, hiking, forest bathing, or even sitting in a park, the more I am willing to accept who I truly am. But to achieve this, there must be a vulnerability. An openness and a willingness to allow what needs to be let go, be released. There are times when it is purposeful, an intention to go out and come back lighter than when I left. But there are also times when nature in its profound ways, heals without my knowledge, without my awareness. Feeling heavy, burdened and out of sorts, I find myself going for a walk, puttering in the garden, an ache to go to the mountains or ocean, and upon listening to this and following my intuition, there is a lightness and comfort that follows. The layout of the Exhibition is to bring some awareness to this transformation. In the beginning, there is a vulnerability, a readiness to show the hurt, anxiety, issues, etc. As the transformation happens, walking under and through the sculptural tree, it becomes evident that nature starts to “take over” and it starts to heal, to weave itself back into us. In the middle of the room, there are stones on the floor and meditation cushions. The purpose and reason is that if one needs to take a moment, there is a place to sit and be still. My hope is that by walking “Into the Wilderness go, to Lose my Mind and Find my Soul” you will leave behind what no longer serves you, you will leave lighter. Nature accepts who we are, as we are.

Artist Biography: 

A woman, wife, a mother of 3, daughter and sister for 37 years and a friend for life. Recently relocated back to Beautiful British Columbia to raise our children and find a more creative life with better opportunities. Graduated with a BFA from NSCAD in 2012 with a Major in Printmaking and a Minor in Art History. Finding the creative voice that has been silenced and put away for too long, its a slow process but finding it to be therapeutic and rejuvenating. Wishing to share my passion for art, education, and the importance of healing the mind and soul. You are welcome to witness part of my journey.

Christa O’Neill’s show will be exhibited in the vault gallery from April 4 to 25, 2024

View their upcoming show in our online gallery here!