I believe there is an opportunity in looking closely at the landscape—not as a distinct other, but as an environment that we are always in and of. Acknowledging this connection and exploring it through art, can create steps toward a more responsible ecology of place.
I consistently try to not see the world as Nature and Culture or subject and object, but as a unified field of relationships. Dualism is an oversimplification that is harmful to our current ecological condition—when we view the non-human world as objects, it is a precursor for abusing the world as well as divorcing ourselves from any responsibility for our planetary impact. We are not the sole subject of the narrative of Earth. Our landscapes are woven with the stories, trajectories and agencies of human, animal, plant, mineral, idea and thing. We have a dependence on this landscape of things, alive and material, which in turn is dependent on us.
Where does the individual end? Where are the landscapes we live in. You live here? I painted you. My work is a collaboration with landscape to produce effects in myself and others, aesthetically and emotionally reconfiguring ways of seeing the world.
Noel Hefele grew up in Connecticut and received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon in 2002 and his MA in Arts and Ecology in England in 2010. He paints the interactions between nature and culture in the landscape. He was Artist in Residence at the Barbuda Archeological Research center in the Caribbean in 2013 and 2014. He has exhibited internationally and has work in many private collections.
He served on the board of PLGarts, a non-profit community arts organization in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn NY from 2011 to 2017.
Noel teaches a graduate level summer Arts and Ecology course for teachers out of Brooklyn College, partly taking place in Prospect Park.
Please contact me for any reason, including pricing or availability. I have a new painting studio in Brooklyn @ Rogers ave. and Midwood st. Please contact me if you’d like to come visit and take a look at current work.