Earth Calls Projects

Environmental projects supported by sale of high quality archival Geclee land art installation prints

Earth Calls Bread Sculpture

Cheers to our health and the good health of our planet!

I hope this 5 minute update on my Earth Stewardship initiatives will entice our connection and encourage  further conversation. 

 

Taking action in Earth stewardship and making changes on the personal level is of essence more than ever. Led by this principle I have radically dived into the Earth Calls Projects my visions of land preservation and sharing sustainably integrated coexistence with the natural environment. 

 

I am a dual citizen of the United States and Serbia. In 2020, after almost 3 decades of professional life in the States, I was stranded by the pandemic on a rare visit to my ancestral mountaintop land in Serbia. I’ve stayed alone in a dilapidated vernacular dwelling without electricity and running water, generating the ongoing Earth Calls series. Who would imagine how delicious coffee made with melted mountaintop snow is?! 

The Earth Calls series

voices my perspectives on the current cultural interactions with the land, highlighting the endangered biodiversity. My materials are indigenous prewar staple species such as wheat, wool, wild medicinal plants and water. They are ephemeral in situ interventions that continue to narrate via lyrical images. Only focus and exposure determine their outcome.

Serbia is a postwar social conundrum with an unhealthy economy and detrimental environmental policies, a leading Black Ecological Spot of Europe. Still pristine, this mountainous land is potently beautiful and fertile, with a disappearing sustainable heritage. There is a great diversity of species set in the beauty of a natural vastness.

 

Wild medicinal plants

There is a local, long-standing tradition of using wild-growing medicinal plant provisions to maintain good health or to heal. Unsupported by social policies these rural traditions are dying out, together with the generational healing wisdom and practices. Each of these wild medicinal plants has a folk tale linked to them. For example, potently fragrant Pennyroyal grows on the highest mountain peaks. It’s a remedy for “broken hearts” and “muddy minds”. Tea from “Iva” strengthens the body so that it “brings one back from the dead”…

Earth Calls Print Edition
 
Earth Calls, Wild medicinal plants

Earth Calls Art and Ecology Residency - Mission

The project mission is land preservation and its subsequent devotion to an international artist and social polyculture residency program.

This is an excerpt from a recent Omega article on the project: 

“Eventually, conditions of the world pushed Draga to carry on her vision by herself, and she started the first stages of her social permaculture design project that she envisioned at Omega..... Draga managed cutting evergreen trees from the land, treated the wood, and used the lumber for her planned cabin structure. Even through driving rain and snow along the mountain, she implemented those first stages of the design project.” Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, NY, May 2022

https://www.eomega.org/articles/once-uprooted-always-uprooted?fbclid=IwAR2Da_Kfex_812E1z1A2g3YE2ZYmKNLLGT4aTv40FZ8X4SXTXthFveEONuQ

 

Displacement

Revisiting Serbia after almost 3 decades of professional life in the States, I’ve been displaced here as well, just as I was when I first moved to the US from Belgrade. In a very different way though, mostly as a professional female living alone in a remote location. Support for the land art initiatives is non-existent in Serbia. The ecological consciousness is rising while activism is obstructed by the power of industrial colonialism, the cause of blazing damages to the natural resources.

 

My ethical call is the land preservation and its dedication to the international social polyculture residency program. I continue to function on a professional level solely in the States, where my “tribe” is. Last year, my solo exhibition at the local Museum was supported by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, NYC. In order to sustain my practice and the future of the Earth Calls Residency project I’ve built up the Print Editions page on my website.

Displace Yourself
 
Earth Calls, Wild medicinal plants

Support the projects

buy a print from the Earth Calls series. 

If these projects resonate with you, your mindfulness to the natural environment, and at best you can imagine spending time at the Earth Calls Residency, or supporting others to participate please consider enriching your interior with a high quality art print from my Print Editions of Earth Calls series. 

As I continue to reach out to the foundations and ally partners in the States., the sales will support the current project imperatives: finishing the water well digging, water installation, interior insulation and construction of the bathroom, kitchen, stairway… putting together pieces of an existing rustic cabin.

Your reflections, participation or support of this vision are most welcomed. A board of advisors is formed and we are busy launching a fundraiser so these practices can take root such as social polyculture exchange, consulting, creating and teaching art and ecology… 

Our connection, growth and exchange on this land is my life dream. 

Would love to hear from you!  dragasusanj@gmail.com

 

https://www.dragasusanj.com/printeditionsofenvitonmentalartworks

https://www.instagram.com/dragasusanj/

 

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/dragasusanjstudio

 

Art critics

“The fragility of society's structures is well known to Susanj. She was born in Yugoslavia. Her close childhood connection with nature in a specific location is a basis of her work today. In particular her installations reflect an intimacy with plants and other natural phenomena beyond theoretical understanding. Her interventions in natural sites are effective and original in part because they are simple — not radical, not wrenching — and because they are not intended to be permanent.” L Robin Rice, Philadelphia based art critic

 

“This is quite striking work overall. You foreground these rather graphic images in the history, politics and culture of the former Yugoslavia. A sense of the past and certain lifeways under assault permeates most of your photographs. All of this is interestingly undergirded via your personal travels and the ramifications of the pandemic......” LensCulture