Encounters: Sheila Prevost – United States of America
~ by Barbara
Sivan and I met Sheila on a windy Thursday afternoon via ZOOM in 2022. It was Melanie Scholtz who some time ago connected us to Sheila. It is special to travel around the world via a series of encounters and meet people we otherwise wouldn’t have met.
It is early morning in New York. One of the paintings of Sheila is hanging behind her in her virtual background. I saw some very diverse work from her while searching online. And this painting is again different.
Our encounter makes a deep impression on me since she shares her connection to art and nature. Her work is usually influenced by urban experiences, environmental structures, and cultural scenes. It is in recent years that nature enters her work. It is a reflection of the growing connection to nature she feels inside herself.
She tells the childhood story of how her mother used to sing and talk to the plants in their home. When she inquired about it, her mother says that it is nothing (it was just what she likes to do). Years later Sheila inquires again about this talking and singing to plants. And now her mother explains how she feels the vibrational energy between her and the plants; when she sings to them they heal. Sheila says: “It is a good thing my mother didn’t explain this to me when I was a little girl. I wouldn’t have understood. Now I do. While growing up I started to resemble my mom in many more ways than just our outer appearance.”
We continue our conversation. Sheila: “During the covid pandemic I started walking through empty New York City. Like many people started walking I guess (the quiet of empty streets were rare and freeing). I walked through many cities parks and came across a small water stream in Riverside park. I would visit daily and sit quite some time thinking, admiring, or meditating. All of a sudden I saw the trees a whole new way. They just became so vivid, so vital, so much more beautiful to me. I started to see the resemblance between them and us humans as I spiritually connected to them. You see, trees are always here for us. In New York and many places, we are very good at making a mess and polluting the air, streets, and parks. Still, trees are available, without judgment just taking care of us. To me, they are all love; never asking only giving so much. They are the embodiment of unconditional love.”
When she tells this story I can feel me and Sivan being touched in the heart. She shows us one of her paintings where a person looks in what seems to be a mirror. What the person sees, and what we see is the same person looking back and the skin has the structure of the bark of a tree. Also, the hairs appear to be the roots or branches. It is called “Seeing yourself in nature.”
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