Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Rainbow Serpent

Students of Human Ecology explore the diversities of our human, social and environmental dimensions. Elke Knebel, a student of the Bachelor of Ecological Agriculture Systems, recently completed her journey through the substrat that the subject of Human Ecology touches on. This is Elke’s acrylic expression of her journey; accompanied by her précis of the exploration.

Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Rainbow Serpent | by Elke Knebel

Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Rainbow Serpent | by Elke Knebel

“The painting was my attempt to create artwork for the Human Ecology subject this year. It reflects on how I see the world, what is important  to me and what I learned through my journey of study, especially Human Ecology.

It is hard to describe in one paragraph what each element in the picture means – but the main story could be called “Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Rainbow Serpent”.

I have deliberately chosen these three, as Mother Earth is universally known around the world, Father Sky is borrowed form American Indian Mythodology and the Rainbow Serpent is uniquely Australian. This is to show how in the stories of old time and people, everything is connected. As Human Ecology is concerned with systems thinking, especially how we humans are connected within and with our environment, these mythical creatures remind me that our world is uniquely interconnected within our galaxy and beyond.

I also wanted to make this painting a positive one – even though there are some dark elements of environmental destruction present. That’s why I chose predominantly very strong primary colours. It is sometimes easy to forget in this modern world of war and environmental degradation how beautiful our planet still is.

I’d like to finish with the last paragraph from my essay:

“My personal journey into the realms of Human Ecology has just begun in earnest now that i have the tools to open up and advance my vision. Maybe, one day, the idea of harmony between humans and all earth systems will be realised; as i have tried to portray in my painting.”

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