From Taos to you: Seeds of Hope by Jackie Yeomans
Seeds of Hope IV
UK soils, clays & raw earth pigments on paper.
20cm x 20cm.
Earth artist Jackie Yeomans landed in Taos, New Mexico on the third of March this year, having dreamt about spending time there since being absorbed with the art and life of Georgia O’Keeffe in 1978 as a teenager. She’s always known ‘this is a landscape I will one day set foot in.’ After accruing time off work and carefully saving up for a year, in October 2019 she flew out then road tripped to Taos, her 7 day stay culminating on her last evening with a serendipitous meeting resulting in an offer of space to work in return for holding her Soil Painting and Seed Guardian making workshops.
That evening she had met Kym Sanchez and Don Peters who have been running Not Forgotten Outreach Inc. for the past 6 years, an organisation set up for Veterans with PTSD, offering respite, new skills, and through nurturing the land organically. NFO work with the VetCorps programme training veterans in agriculture which is linked with the AmeriCorps programme for young people volunteering for service in any area, sometimes with a stipend.
Fast forward to early March, when she took out a loan, flew out, knowing this will be her last flight due to the environmental impact, to find out two weeks later that her ambitions for her time in Taos had to change as staff were reduced to a skeleton crew as the spring term new farm work volunteers are currently on hold, including her and her journey home cancelled indefinitely.
She spends her days during lockdown looking after the land, animals, and people around her. In her art practice, she uses seeds metaphorically, yet now she finds herself planting real seeds, an essential task in supporting local communities, as her on-site workshops, her sole source of income, coming to a premature ending.
“At such extraordinary times such as this, we all have to diversify."
Jackie transformed these face to face sessions into home kits for Soil Painting, Seed Guardian making with guidance delivered through weekly videos.
"We can all readdress our lifestyles." We now have a chance to pause, look, listen and pay careful attention to where we are, take in a deep breath before we make new lighter footprints on our precious earth.