Animality and Humanality: Amanda Sandos

In Amanda Sandos’ graduating presentation, she brought together art, art history, deep ecology, bioregionalism, zoology, religion and other fields and traditions to examine the connection between animals and humans. A former zookeeper and current environmental artist, Amanda presented in the gallery, surrounded by her paintings of animals, particularly the snake, which was a focus of her art to help recover the snake in connection to humans and not as distanced, labeled evil or other ways in which we’ve been divided. She describes her graduating student workshop:

Animanity  and  Humanality:  The  Human  Animal  Connection,  with  IMA  graduating  student  Amanda  Sandos: My presentation  includes  a  mixed  media  art  installation  comprised  of  painted  images  and  quotes  rendered  in  round calligraphy. There are two main focal walls of art work, organized so as to place the viewer centrally between the two walls to surround them with the images and ideas. the first of the two walls is an exploration of the snake, including portraits of snakes from around the world organized around five quotes from religious and literary texts pertaining to the snake. It is my intention to allow the viewer to see the snake’s natural beauty in the images, pushing them beyond the common reaction of fear. The quotes chosen track some of that fear through the canon of historical and religious literature to  illuminate how this colors our relationship to the snake. The second walls consists of paintings
about chimps and the human/chimp relationship arranged around the joined hands of a human and a chimp. This wall will explore hierarchical language, and how we used our relationship to explain and understand ourselves. I will give a brief contextual presentation about the works  and then explore them in a discussion with the Goddard community.

Especially moving was Amanda’s story of befriending an angry and difficult male chimp by helping feed and care of the chimp’s baby. Even now, years afterwards, when she visits the zoo, both father and son leap up at her approach and show her how much they love her.

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About Individual Poet

I'm the poet laureate of Kansas; a poet, writer and author; a faculty member at Goddard College and community writing facilitator; and lover of the writing life.
This entry was posted in Deep Ecology & Bioregionalism, Environmental, Sustainability & Place Studies, Visual Arts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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