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ARC buys exquisite small artworks for our website and publications

June 30, 2009:

Sikh "eco baba" Balbir Singh Seechewal, known throughout the Punjab for leading river cleanups holds the Guide to the Sikh Five Year Plan with Marsha Hollingworth's Libirdy on the cover

ARC has recently bought several exquisite works by Seattle artist Marsha Hollingsworth, to use on our website and in our publications.

"We chose to work with Marsha because we loved her work instantly, and also because - in their detailed, whimsical, careful depiction of nature's colours and beauty - they appear to transcend individual faith traditions, and appeal to something happy in everyone who sees them," said ARC's Communications Director, Victoria Finlay.

Ms Hollingsworth says her innate love of the natural world was originally enhanced and expanded through her experiences in Camp Fire Girls - the camping, canoeing, hiking and sailing introduced her to a deeper and life-long appreciation for nature, showing the critical importance of youth programmes in the outdoors: a theme that is taken up in the long term environmental plans of several faiths, including Daoists and Sikhs.

She started painting early, supported by her mother at all stages. Once, Ms Hollingsworth remembers, her mother bought the necessary supplies and sat down on the floor with her two daughters, to learn Japanese Sumi-e painting from a TV show. Together they learned to paint bamboo and little birds, and this was one of many Asian influences that would later be evidenced in Marsha’s artwork.

Much later, asked by a printer friend if she would do some simple bookbinding work for his business, she became fascinated by the binding of books, and developed a business, Hand Bookbinding, which gained a reputation for quality restoration work.

Throughout her life she has kept journals, illustrated pages of observations, favorite poems, quotes, experiences, turning points, pictures of places lived and travels taken.

Diagnosed with MS, new challenges and her need for a quiet life have given her a greater desire and the time needed for her creativity to mature.

Her latest body of work, entitled Meditations, is a collection of small, altar-like watercolors with collage accents. Influenced by her love of ancient Asian miniatures, they appear as small, bright shrines to Nature. Combining her skills as a painter with the fine papers she uses in bookbinding, she has made beautiful collages ranging from the whimsical to the spiritual and sublime. It is these little paintings that will be used in ARC's projects and on our planned new website.

The painting Family has already been used to illustrate a talk on ARC's outreach at a meeting for Maronites and Druze hosted by the Prime Minister of Lebanon in May, and the painting Libirdy graces the front of the guidebook to the Sikh Five Year Plan, launched July 4th 2009 in New Delhi.

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ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.
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