The name of this post containing artwork on ecological themes is this:
THE SECULAR SACRED
For the sake of the red fire mountain I am named Apeetha Arunagiri – since Apeetha is the name of divine feminine and Arunagiri of the divine masculine aspects of this sacred place; and since I am predominately female, my pen-name is Abhithakuchalambal – the full version of the name of the goddess. Another name for the mountain is Arunachala; this is the name by which it is most famous as the Fire Place of South India.
The mountain stands in Tamil Nadu and is believed to be the very first protuberance on the face of the earth. Many millions of people visit this site each year including an increasing number of foreigners like me. I was born in Australia.
I have always felt comfortable with the notion of sacredness and in my travels particularly attracted to sacred mountains. The community of persons connected with Arunachala – although greatly divergent in many respects, form the only group with Rwhich I consistently identify other than as a citizen of the entire planet; nevertheless i doubt that many of the other members of this community acknowledge they are agnostic as I do.
As a citizen of Earth and a member of the community of residents and visitors to Arunachala I also contribute towards a future that benefits from the past in ways particularly congruent with values personally imbibed. Since planting trees is the most viable contribution in the noticeably deforested surrounds about the holy mountain, it became my occupation in the sense that I was and still remain able to function as an initiator of plantation and can inspire and sustain the endeavor towards the greening of Arunachala. Painting, cartooning and writing about this process is what has occupied me on the sideline in order to maintain sanity and provide a livelihood.
Having adopted a dying baby in the early eighties who has grown into a big Mamma with husband locally drawn from Arunachala and three children – all of whom wish to live in Australia, for nine of the past twelve years of residency in Australia – half the year living the chaotic Joint Family life in Coburg, Melbourne and return to South India for the other half year, to continue the upstream swim towards the Greening of Arunachala. The website for the reforestation endeavor is this: www.arunachalagreening.com. Please visit. The site was greatly changed by an Indian well-wisher but still contains a succinct history of the reforestation work. This work is discontinued since the government of India now prohibits foreigners making decisions on NGOs. There is another blog with documented writing on the greening of Annamalai; if interested, then be commended to visit: http://sonagiristories.net. This blog contains illustrated Non-fiction stories and poems.
The purpose of this present Blog is to present a number of images that were shelved after returning to Australia. They seem to have an extensive shelf-life because occasionally they are resurrected and when they surface from the dim light they are admired by the young at heart.
Returning from the backwoods of Tamil Nadu was exceedingly disorienting, it was such a shock that the fruits of my creative labour over so many years were suddenly perceived by myself as backward, naive and insubstantial – unfit for the domain in which money-is-the-yardstick-for-value; this banished them to the dark crevices of the un-useful to this modern world, to remain in disdain while I managed to find my feet. Very much time was required passing back and forth between Reforestation of Arunachala and family life in the Desert of Plenty before my equilibrium recovered sufficiently to recognize the value of images so stunningly uncommercial. So here on this Blog a long-forgotten portfolio will gradually spread.
Let’s hope all who visit here enjoy themselves.
Grow Well. Apeetha