Allons les enfants . . .
Created for an outdoor art exhibition on the theme of sustainability in the Santa Fe National Forest in 2006, Allons les enfants was an installation consisting of 60 pairs of little children's shoes on a mountain path. Beside each shoe a walking stick with bundle attached completed the symbolic procession. The following statement on the piece was prepared for a conference on Spiritual Politics where I wanted to share the importance of art in expressing ideas and dreams for a better world, I titled it Spiritual Activism.
“Sustainability is about future generations: our children and their children... their children's children... Allons les enfants (the first words of the French National Anthem, meaning let's go children) is a call for a new kind of revolution, a revolution of the spirit. Our children are very much aware of what is happening and they decide not to wait for us here. Portrayed by their shoes, they are leaving on a pilgrimage. They are using forked branches as walking sticks: Y for whY... Y for Yes... sticks to dowse for their future.
As one who aspires to cultivate the child within, I often ponder how I, a being on a spiritual path, an artist and activist, can best respond to what's happening to the Earth? These thoughts sometimes lead me to consider leaving everything for a more participatory form of meditation—the act of walking with intention... pilgrimage. In this installation, my personal pilgrimage merges with this pilgrimage of the children.”
Photo credit: Alan Eckert