The Hard Rain book has been sent to presidents and prime ministers, business leaders, public figures and key decision-makers. We also welcome comments from readers and exhibition visitors on the issues illustrated in Hard Rain. Have your say. Email Hard Rain Project today and come back soon to see what others are saying.
A superb contribution to the debate
Saving the environment will hardly be achieved by forcing nation states to act or persuading scientists that, after a technology of destruction, it is time to develop a technology of salvation. Nation states may be part of the problem, in that in their myopic attention to limited territories they may believe that competition with other states will make the winners survive and the losers succumb. In an extreme, if realistic, version of such competition the poisons produced in developed countries can be transferred to developing ones, a form of environmental imperialism. There are only losers in this competition and, as David Bohm wonderfully argues, nationalism is for the environment a contemporary form of plague. Scientists, in their turn, may compound the problem, as their professional performance is measured through the contribution they make to economic growth. David Bohm’s views echo what some theorists in Europe call “de-growth”, an economic initiative which incorporates a radical critique of the very notions of development, output, national product or, for that matter, added value and profit. If these notions have acquired “objective” existence and universal validity in economic discourse, this is not due to their being part of the inescapable reality, but to the way in which “thought” has managed to isolate them and turn them into abstractions. Here, Bohm’s ideas are crucial for the development of a global environmental consciousness. Our thought does not reflect reality, it contributes to its creation. If we focus on other aspects and variables, these may acquire universal validity as well: our gaze may be turned away from growth and economic performance, and onto solidarity and life. Hard Rain is a superb contribution to the debate on the environment. The compelling images provided by Mark Edwards, the moving verses of Bob Dylan, and the thought-provoking observations of David Bohm give us a beautiful message of civic hope.
Dear Mark and the Hard Rain project,
I remember watching the white line and momentary flash that drew to a close late-night viewing when the TV was turned off on old television sets. The memory of this image has been the basis of my own art and a metaphor for the closing or shutting down of the earth.
I just learnt about your exhibition on the BBC World service at St Martin-in-the-fields, (close to my own heart because my mother was christened there) and felt compelled to write and share my thoughts and art. My work is the celebration of our organic earth despite the fact that the landscape in painted art hasn't really been greatly and widely explored. Rather we are obsessed with our own humanity, religion, science and politics – and, since the industrial revolution, mechanizations and technologies and the abstractions that have been employed to reveal, depict and comment upon them.
The earth and nature without a man-made object in sight, as a worthy and important subject matter, certainly in terms of painting, has largely been overlooked. Over these many years on my artistic journey, and increasingly recently, I have come across many works, both photographic or hand rendered, that focus on the horizon as my own does. It's as if some kind of 'horizontalist' movement has been building in the artistic community that is collectively emitting a subliminal message which has been sending an increasingly concerned warning to a greatly desensitized world, one of total "lights out" (going back to my TV metaphor) if we don't rethink our ways of progress. I hope that I will one day be able to see and listen to your moving and galvanizing exhibition.
Best wishes and thanks for the great inspiration,
Serena Stevens, Bahrain
I heard the interview with Mark Edwards on CBC radio. Thank you for the simple but profound quote: "We need to reinvent the modern world so that it is compatible with nature." Well said. In our noisy world, and as a meditator, I also appreciate the quiet statement that your project makes. I will recommend this site to others. Peace...
From here to eternity
Humanity has always striven for immortality, in its art, buildings, religion and mythology. COP15 is the chance for each and every one of us to find immortality... or lose it. Because it is the chance to save billions of humans with whom we share our DNA (as well as other species, with whom we share a significant proportion). We are no longer the man sawing off the branch he's sitting on, we have achieved the seemingly impossible: still sitting on our branch, we are managing to swing our immense axe at its very roots. We are uprooting the Tree of Life. COP15 is the chance to grab the axe and stop it mid-swing, to shake the dazed axeman from his stupor and bring him to his senses, before he completes his grisly task. Join together, be that one single mind. Shout together, be that one single voice. Act together, be that vast restraining hand. Or remain silent and powerless, for the rest of our short days! Because January 2010 will be too late.
Eyes that see in the park
I saw the Hard Rain project whilst walking through an arboretum in Co. Wexford. The little sign said "exhibition" and pointed to a grassy path beyond the fuchsias."Strange place for art," i thought, but "thought" itself and yet again misrepresented the facts. The place, myself and the images were all part of the same thing, a tragedy of unprecedented proportions, not merely for the story told by the images but by a blindness that doesn't want to see and therefore act. Hard rain caught me unaware,the same unawareness no doubt responsible for all this in the first place. it brought me back to my senses and deeply unsettled me... action is already taking place.