Conversations with Nature. Conversations with the creatures of Nature. These dialogues become important catalysts in the journey from Trauma to the new Process. An ongoing language which begins to form a story of a journey, quite possibly the most important of our lives. This is the story of the war we have won by carrying on, in our raw and new normal, discovering a new strength in service, remembrance and continuing. The Collective features work of two local artists and environmentalists and readings by two award winning authors. Each artist has a unique and dynamic history of working with and for nature while simultaneously serving their communities. The common thread is in their ongoing conversations with nature in their life paths of healing in the trauma process and helping others in this experience.
Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War, a Purple heart Iraq War veteran, and winner of the Legionnaire of the Year Award from the American Legion in 2015 and the recipient of the Emily Gottfried Emerging Leader, Human Rights award for 2016. His stories, essays and articles have appeared in the Smoke, Human the Movie, and Ted Talk Books The Misfits Manifesto. Sean has fought in a revolution, a war, and helped save lives in New Orleans during Katrina. He’s a wild land firefighter during the summers. He has been a police officer, a bartender, an incident responder, a supernumerary in an opera, and currently teaches writing at Mt. Hood Community College and Clackamas Community College. Sean not only encourages communion with Nature, he dedicates life and limb to protect her. Each year you’ll find him bravely situated on the front lines of wildfires across the Pacific Northwest as one of Oregon’s most experienced and decorated firefighters. Sean’s love of Nature and of people is the lifeblood in his particular brand of philanthropy. Sean lives in rural Oregon with his talented wife Kelly Davis and their daughter.
Sean is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. Within the Collective Sean offers his series of paintings surrounding trauma, survival and the interconnectedness with Nature.
Jennifer Porter is a native of Portland and an artist and conservationist. Her early work and focus surrounded spacial theory, the built environment and architecture. She developed and curated ‘Centrifuge’ at Art Institute of Portland. Centrifuge was a study of the interconnectedness between the disciplines of art, art theory and architecture. Centrifuge featured master artist and GBD Architecture founder Chuck Gordon, two of Portland’s leading architecture firms and several of Portland’s local artists. She curated a series of shows in a massive artist run pop up gallery collective, Deep Field Gallery. She served four years on the planning committee of Portland’s largest art auction, The Annual CAP Art Auction, overseeing the installation and multimedia program. Jennifer’s interest began to take a more personal tone in recent years with focus on nature and conservation issues and most recently the process of finding the new normal in trauma recovery. Working alongside her family as habitat restoration specialists, reconstructing damaged habitats, she found an inherent similarity to the power of nature in its rejuvenation and restoration, and the healing we do from traumatic instances in our own lives. She is currently dedicated to assisting high risk youth find their voice and path to their self-empowered new normal.
Jennifer brings her sculpture work and a series of photographs of her underwater choreograph work captured by talented underwater photographer and artist Micah Reese. The photography series are of movements illustrating the dynamic of the depth of interpersonal darkness, the bondage of forced narratives designed to keep us in depths of trauma patterns. Finally, releasing bonds and surfacing to the new way of life and a new narrative.
Jude’s writing has appeared in Retreat West, New Millennium Writings, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Clackamas Literary Review, Scintilla Press, Typishly, and Cultured Vultures. His nonfiction short was a finalist in the 2017 Montana Book Festival, and he was the winner of the 2017 Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize. He also produces and hosts the literary “radio theatre” podcast Storytellers Telling Stories. New episodes available Tuesdays on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, any podcast app, and on sttspod.com
Jason Arias lives in Portland, OR. You can find some of his previous work in past issues of Oregon Humanities Magazine, Lidia Yuknavitch’s book The Misfit’s Manifesto, Perceptions Magazine, and Storytellers Telling Stories Podcast as well as other publications.