• Jacob Alcott

Sabrina Marie on Art, Spirituality & Sustainability - Interview

Updated: May 27



Recently I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with a visual artist who focuses on spirituality, sustainability, and the artist's expression of the soul. Sabrina Marei is an artist from a small, wooded town in south-central Massachusetts who has traveled the world making art and living in close relationship with the land.


Her relationship with nature was established early in her life and is something that has never left her. Through her art she is able to convey a bridge between the artist, the soul, and the living earth that fuels her passion and creativity. Her mediums range from painting, to collage, sculpture and statue making, to her specific practices of sustainability.


To Sabrina, the creation of her art is a meditation and an expression of the self that has no other outlet.


J: What does spirituality have to do with art in general?


SM: I believe that art and spiritually are, in essence, very similar things..at the very least they are connected like earth and water. Creation, flow, truth, embrace, something so far beyond us, but ever present in us.


I believe true art comes from a place incredibly deep within; born from an innate and unavoidable urge to express something, for the sake of both our individual and collective evolution. Art provokes inquiry and it embraces the mystery of life, as does spirituality. True art brings the artist deep into the core of their being, it cracks one open, it is a death, creating space for a rebirth.


An artist, as a creator, is one and the same with the creation that they bring forth into the world. What we create is a direct reflection of us, it is a part of us, an extension of us, and still, free from us. Art is a place for the soul to work it's hands, it is a point of materialization. Where spirit becomes form. I believe that spirituality is ultimately a connection to a certain truth. A sense, a feeling, imperceptible yet here, connecting us to each other, the earth, our nature, our consciousness.


To connect to that which is 'spiritual', we must allow ourselves freedom in our expression. We must excavate the rocky terrain of the soul, allowing the polarity of ourselves to expand. The artist recognizes that it is their duty to allow this expression forward, as it is, as it desires, fully felt, wholly seen. The spirit, in it's trueness, is interwoven with the art. The spiritual lives inside of the artist.

J: How does your art express your spiritual beliefs or practices?

SM: To me, spirituality is a very simple thing. It is everything, it is our interconnected nature, the earth, the light in our lover's eyes. It is the sound of the sea and the way the rain feels as it lands on our skin. It is a moment of deeply felt pain and a dance of profound ecstasy.


It is so intricately interwoven into everything that we are that sometimes we forget about it, ignore it, deny it. But when we listen to it, to the spirit, we recognize the sacred in everything. Creating art is a practice, a meditation almost, that brings me back to this space. A remembering. When I create art I am forced to surrender to something greater than myself, and in turn I am able to channel from a place deeper than material, form, and thought.


Art is a space where my spirit is completely free to express itself because in order to create art I have to set my spirit free. My work is an expression of that sacred essence that is present beneath, and within, everything. The energy that swirls and connects me to you. You to me. Us to the earth. It is symbolic of the quirky, the strange, the mystery, the innocent, the flow of life. I am deeply inspired by the mother, the womb; again this space of union between our etheric nature and our human flesh.


I aim to combine the far-out flight of spirit, to the dirt, the dark, the rawness of the human condition. I believe there to be a certain intrinsic beauty in everything, and through my art, I hope to show that. The beauty in the organic, the earth, women, human, nature, the world of creature, magic, the yumminess of sensation, the intricacy, and the total simplicity that is our divinity.


My art expresses my spiritual beliefs because my art is a direct reflection of my spirit. It is heart work, it is intentional as well as a channeled flow. It is a practice of devotion to myself, my expression, my spirit.


J: Where does your art take place in your life?


SM: Creating art is a special passion of mine. Like I said, it is a practice and something that is very healing for me. I use it to express the pieces of me that have not yet found another outlet to speak through.


It is something I carry with me everywhere I go, and I know it will never leave me. I learned long ago that it's not something I can force, it's not for commercial purposes. It's something I love to do and in order to keep the integrity of that, I let myself flow with it. I have a lot of other interests and believe myself to be a multifaceted human.


So sometimes other passions of mine take the reins; I find myself creating less art to open space for the exploration of these other areas of interest. Sometimes that is taking more time to dance, to move my body. Sometimes that looks like writing or working, cooking or reading.


Sometimes it's as simple as prioritizing the people I love, just a little bit more. I do my best to balance these different aspects of my life, but it's been important for me to also trust the ebb and flow. I believe we are cyclical beings and we are not meant to create all of the time; sometimes we have to gather, to soak, to search, to plant seeds.

J: How often are you able to make art?


SM: As I mentioned, I feel very connected to the cyclical nature of things. As I learn to surrender to the cycles, putting less pressure on myself to be in a constant state of creation, I end up being far more invigorated and nourished when I do go to create again.


My body, the seasons, the moon; all move through time, phasing in, phasing out. I often go through periods, lasting maybe 1-2 weeks, where I feel crazy inspired. It's like a flood washing through my body and I am SO compelled to create.


I am energized, full, empowered in expression. When I am in this phase I usually spend at least a couple hours daily creating. I create for me, and I find that when something wants to come out, it becomes easier and easier to make that space for myself--when I'm honoring the cycles. And then I'll go through periods where I am not as inspired to paint/draw/make art. It very much depends on where I am and what I'm working through, but embracing this has been integral when it comes to avoiding burnout and maintaining the authenticity of my expression.


J: How did you find your style?


SM: Finding my style has been an ongoing journey, and it continues to unfold. Ever since I was young I have been drawing. I didn't think much of it, it was just something I did. I enjoyed art class in grade school and I took a variety of courses in high school. I liked it. I was 'good' at it. Graduation came around and I decided to give art school a whirl. But it was lackluster, I didn't feel passionate or inspired. I was creating for the external, I was creating to be critiqued.


I thought I wanted to learn how to make art, but I really needed to learn how to open. I needed to learn how to find myself. I ended up leaving after about a year and it was the best decision I could've made. By throwing myself outside of my comfort zone, into a space of complete unfamiliarity, I was able to face myself in a way I never had. The parts of me I was scared of, the pieces of me I had left broken for so long.


I faced a stranger that I needed to reconcile with. I decided to start traveling at this point. Around the world, but also into myself. I started meeting new people and working with different plant medicines. Exploring this mysterious and glorious new landscape of earth, and the vastness of human potential, I felt like an entire world had been hidden from me that was now mine to discover.


I started to journey beyond the pre-conceived notions I had developed, relating to how the world works, how I exist - the identities I allow to define me, and what was/is possible for me. I think that was really the catalyst. The structures, the borders, the lines I had drawn began to blur and I was expanding beyond what I had for so long trapped myself inside. I started to tap into a place within that I hadn't yet touched. I felt myself come alive, I connected deeper, and this is where my true expression started to seep from.


I began making journals, combining my writing and my doodles. I was falling into a flow state I had never experienced. I was creating for me - completely and totally - and because of this, I started to show up in the art I was making. My art started to reflect my inner journey and this is when I truly fell in love with creating. From there, it's hard to say. I never chose my style, I actually never would’ve imagined myself here creating as I do. It just happened.


Journals turned to sketchbooks turned to painting to traveling and exchanging my art for food and a roof. My style developed as I developed, and the closer I got to me, the more my art started to reveal itself. The more time I spent connecting to my inner world, the more my style, my art, came out.


J: Something your art seems to embody is the idea of ecological sustainability, how intertwined is this with the way you live your life?


SM: I do hope my art can be a voice for the voiceless, or for those we do not always listen to. The earth, Her creatures, the ecosystems.


I aim to raise awareness of our innate connection to the planet; inspiring others to spend more time caring for Her as she does us. And yes, this is something I carry with me far beyond my art. -- I would like to emphasize that I am by no means perfect at this. I am learning more every day.-- But I do try to stay committed to looking beyond the surface of things. Looking to source and sink, cause and effect.


Where is my food coming from and how can I make different choices? To whom am I giving my money when I make purchases? What privileges do I have and how can I use them for the benefit of not just myself, but others as well? Where do I purchase material goods; can I buy this second-hand or from a small business?


Where is my food coming from and how can I make different choices? To whom am I giving my money when I make purchases? What privileges do I have and how can I use them for the benefit of not just myself, but others as well? Where do I purchase material goods; can I buy this second-hand or from a small business?

It is important that I continue to ask these questions, and beyond that stay willing to change my ways.


My partner and I are hoping to make a nice big garden and open up a community space where others can take plots as well, encouraging sovereignty in food while also connecting to one another and the earth. This is a major dream of mine and I am passionate about decentralizing food production as much as possible. Connecting to our immediate ecosystem, forming a bond, allowing for symbiosis.


As much as systemic and large-scale changes are needed, I do believe we have much power when it comes to creating healthier local systems. As much as we are evolving and developing new technologies to assist us and hopefully benefit ALL, it is integral that we go back to the earth.


Nature is the ultimate healer and we have become so disconnected from Her and each other. I do believe we can and are moving in the right direction, collectively, but real and lasting change will require all of us to get our hands dirty. To work for and to commit to, something beyond ourselves.


J: Something important to us at Loner is the artistic community. What role does community play in your life/art?


SM: I feel blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful people, they fuel the heart and soul of who I am. From the support they show me to the pools of inspiration and wisdom that they are, I can only grow in the presence of my community, my family.


Connecting deeply with others has had a huge impact on me, as well as my artistic endeavors. While I have yet to find a consistent community to fully integrate into (in terms of place), as I have for a while been on the move, I am still surrounded by the art of others, dear to me, all of the time.


I am inspired by the songs of brothers, the dances that move through my sisters and I as we rise together in circle…I am inspired by the gardens I have been sustained from and their creators. From the pop-up communities I've been welcomed into on the road to making paintings with strangers who so quickly become friends, the well of that which muses me does not run dry. For this I am grateful, and truly humbled.


J: Lastly, are there any general comments you’d like to add about your art or yourself?


SM: When I talk about art, for me that typically means painting, drawing, crafting. But art, true art looks a million different ways.


Art is engineering and acting, playing a sport on the field. Art can be gardening or singing or creating a business. Maybe it's dancing or caring for animals or cooking food. Whatever art looks like for you, wherever that deep passion lies, hold onto it. Let yourself go into that space, connect with your heart and trust in that expression that feels so right for you.


We all have unique roles here and I think now more than ever we need to embrace that. We will change and grow and our paths will wind, but as long as we stay devoted to that tick, that pulse that really lights us up, we're going where we're meant to go. To embrace the quirks and the weirdness. To find our strengths and the things that compel us to live as fully as possible. When we create from this space inside of us, we gift something new to the world, and with newness comes change.


Changing the world requires us to show up as we are, in our wholeness. The journey is not linear, your expression will always be changing, but I believe it is so important to keep creating. To keep doing you, and sharing that with the rest of us.


 

J: In talking with Sabrina, I was able to see into her field of art. She uses her art as a bridge between the individual, ephemeral experience, and the diaphanous infinite. Her work is transcendental, it pervades a boundary from within the self into a place that radiates the anima of the earth.


Her art is definitely something to look out for, she can be found on Instagram under the handle @sabrinamarei. On her account, she showcases her art as well as a preview into her lifestyle and practices, and beliefs in sustainability.


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