It Takes a Nest
I have been fascinated by the idea of nest for many years. About 20 years ago I did a number of works that explored the nurturing structure that provides protection, security and warmth. Since then nests often re-emerge in my work. A part of the fascination is the deep and somewhat irrational drive to create and nurture our children. As a father of 4, I have spent over 30 years parenting. As a teacher of adolescents, I have been part of the community effort to help our children grow from total dependence to independence, strength and freedom.
Here are some of the fascinations and ideas that I spent time with and felt during the creation of this painting:
The drive to create and nurture our offspring is one of the deepest, most powerful and natural parts of us. We all know and experience it in different ways, but it is part of what makes us human; a social animal.
I always marvel at the opspreys when they come back from their migration. They seem so free; they soar around in the wind, fish a little, bask in the sun and live what seems to be a carefree life. Then they start building a nest and the next months are completely occupied with hatching, protecting, feeding and teaching their young. They send them on their way and start all over again.
The village or community is the nest expanded. For life to thrive it takes a community to create a safe and nurturing environment for our young. It is in the sharing of these deep values and duties that a community bond is formed. The more we share and support the raising of our young the richer we are as a community. Children raised in this richness develop awareness of their worth and have a better chance of a rich, fulfilling life. For me, this is a deeply held belief.