Carola Dixon describes herself as an urban faery, guardian of the ocean, multidisciplinary artist, and environmental activist. Her work is founded on a futuristic conception of the holy trinity which replaces the father, the son and the holy spirit with art, technology and nature. Through her art, Carola hopes to discover new ways of creating harmony among these three elements, which at present often feel disconnected.These three elements are treated as parts of a whole and are used to explore modern spiritually in relation to modern relationships between people and nature. At different times, her art creates either awe or discomfort with the intention of encouraging the viewer to consider the presence, or absence, of harmony between themselves and art/technology/nature.
Carola is now living in New York where she studies Visual Arts and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. We are thrilled to welcome Carola as the newest member of our Oceanic Global family and to announce that she will be taking over The Current! Carola’s artist background and passion will lend directly to her new role and we are so excited to see how she helps the platform grow.
What draws you to focus your work around nature, specifically the ocean?
As a child I spent most of my time at the beach in Sydney where I grew up, and I always felt a really strong connection to the ocean. I used to get up at 5:00AM just to be able to go for a swim before school. All of my dearest memories with family and friends take place by the ocean. It is such a humbling place to me and I feel I am happiest there. My art is a lot about exploring spirituality, and for me, the ocean feels like the most sacred thing on this earth. Water is life!
How do you see the role of art in activism?
Art has the power to change people’s perspective and awaken them to new ways of understanding. In today’s society many people don’t get the opportunity to have a meaningful connection with their surrounding environment, and I think this is part of the reason we are where we are. For example, climate change is such a big concept that it can be really overwhelming for most people, and hard to relate to. I believe it is essential for people to connect with an element in nature for them to be willing to fight for it. I believe art has the power to create this connection.
How do you think collage and abstraction engage a broader audience and communicate your message?
I like to make both abstract and descriptive work because I think the two communicate with the viewer in different ways. By using symbols that people can recognize (mostly elements from nature that I collage) it makes it clear what the work is exploring. I always hope my art will make nature feel more magical and mystical and inspire people to go out and play!
Abstract art works by engaging people’s subconscious. Something I may have been thinking about when making a piece could trigger someone to think about a different emotion or situation than what was on my mind. This is important because everything is connected and learning to see patterns between real life and our emotions is an important step in growing spiritually. For example, “Pollution” was inspired by water pollution on a molecular level. However, I think this abstract image also evokes the emotions of chaos or disjunction which are both related to pollution in their own way.
How do you see the relationship between art, technology and nature in the future?
In a video project I created, “Phone Call Away”, I speculate about a future in which we totally lose track of our place within the natural world (ie. if nothing changes), and it can feel pretty scary. Ironically, making that piece made me realize that ultimately we can’t escape our physicality. If nothing changes, nature will win – humans and technology can never beat her because we belong to her. But I believe we can avoid this future by using technology to learn more about nature and by using art to proclaim its value and beauty!
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
I am really inspired by different religious artistic traditions from around the world, most notably ceiling paintings in catholic churches, Persian carpets and Australian Aboriginal Desert Art! All of these people in their own way tried to create something that would inspire others to reflect on their own spirituality and I want to do the same! I truly believe that technology has given us the tools for a new age of consciousness surrounding spirituality and nature, and my art belongs to that future.
Check out the following links to see more of Carola Dixon’s art!
Vimeo: Carola Dixon
Author: Cassia Patel / Carola Dixon