Portland, Oregon lies within the traditional homelands of the Multnomah, Oregon City Tumwater, Watlala, and Clackamas Chinooks and the Tualatin Kalapuya Peoples who were relocated to the Grand Ronde Reservation under the Kalapuya etc., 1855, ratiﬁed treaty (also known as the Willamette Valley Treaty, 1855). Today, these Tribes are a part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The Grand Ronde people continue to maintain a connection to their ancestral homelands and maintain their traditional cultural practices.
this sacred withering: an exploration of climate grief and mourning is the culmination of creative, contemplative research and making that explores experiencing grief during climate change. Through the lens of Decolonial environmental praxis, Shadow Ecology, and process-based photographic making, historic colonial realities and mythologies are exposed alongside inner callings to be in deeper relationship with the beauty and shadows of our own experiences of climate grief and mourning. What does it mean to co-create alongside the Earth and touch our own grief? How do we make these realities tangible without causing further harm? What does it mean as a white artist to shine a light on violent colonial histories while creating healing conversations and creating space for others to touch their own experiences? By locating a creative practice within healing paradigms and honoring the shared grief between ourselves and the Earth, we can begin to invite new ways of existing with and dismantling harmful systems that allow all of us to comfort one another, and our one precious Earth.
Renn Simmons is an Ecological Translator who uses the channels of art, ritual, poetry, and Sacred Activism to explore the heavy and healing experiences of being intimately connected to all things. By moving between mediums that layer and expand upon one another–with a focus on photographic processes, time-based, and ephemeral works that engage alternative and experiential Earth-based processes and methods–her work seeks to connect humxns to the physical realities of Climate Change and Environmental Violence, while offering tonics in the form of connection, quiet, returning to natural rhythms, and ﬁnding beauty in the shadows. Layers of process are built on top of one another, interweaving and calling back to one another, transforming and emerging from emotions felt and remembered; hazy dreams; violence, then and now; and prayers whispered alone in the depths of night.
Her work seeks to ﬁrmly locate itself in the land from which it evolves and emerges through a co-creative process with the Earth, pointing to the themes present within Sacred and Shadow Ecology, climate grief and mourning, time, decay, environmental destruction, beauty, transience, objectivity, and communal/ individual healing processes. Ecological research, spiritual practice, ﬁeldwork, and knowledge that dismantles the mythologies around settler colonial notions of wilderness, all weave together in a desire to create antidotes that combat facism, environmental violence, and white supremacy.