Radical Joy Revealed
November 11, 2015
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

Rossi bleeding tree
Jack Rossi's "Beauty and the Beast." Photo by Meg Brazill
 
The October 28 edition of Radical Joy Revealed featured a story about a work of art by Jack Rossi called "Beauty and the Beast," currently featured in the Eco-Visions exhibit in Woodstock, Vermont. It is made of tiny red plastic pellets that the artist has applied to a tree in such a way that the tree looks like it is bleeding. The work calls attention to nature's wounds, which humans often fail to see until it is too late.
 
In response to that story, we received a note from Loriel Golden of Sebastopol, California. She questioned whether making of such a piece might be more harmful than inspirational:
 
It hurts me to see someone putting poisonous pellets on a tree. The material used in creating the crimson beads is most likely highly toxic to humans, birds, insects, animals, plants and trees. Taking one more tree for one's own artistic or political purposes at this time of Climate Catastrophe... is like making a woman who has already lost most of her children lose just one more in the effort to save the few that are left.
 
We contacted artist Jack Rossi and asked for his reaction. Here's his reply:

I agree whole heartedly with the reader's response. Let me provide a few details. This particular tree is over half dead and unfortunately on the 'chopping block' fairly soon for removal due to potential large falling branches onto the path (which has already begun). The plastic shards (while yes, poisonous to our environment and a natural way of life) are cut-up plastic picnic plates and utensils and inert in this state. More importantly, I was very cautious and conscious of making sure the shards were only placed on the dead portion of the tree and all will be removed at the end of the show if the tree is not lost prior to that.
 
I have a deep respect for all living things and this tree is no different. I certainly considered this concern before proceeding and can only say in this instance the tree and I agreed.
 
Thank you, Loriel and thank you, Jack. We love receiving your comments about Radical Joy Revealed stories and will do our best to respond to them.

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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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