We lie on our backs on a patch of grass among tall trees and look up. All sorts of things are flying through the air. Thick bumblebees and dragonflies, swooping swallows, dandelion fluff, an airplane on its way to a distant destination, gossamer silver threads of a spider, patches of clouds, butterflies chasing each other, a buzzard. Most you only see, some you also hear.
The swaying treetops create an ever-changing light on the ground. The shadow play is almost hallucinatory. Everywhere rustles and everything seems to be moving. With a little imagination, a gnome suddenly shuffles out from behind a tree stump, or a nimble forest elf dances on a branch.
We have been lying here for half an hour now, and the beneficial effect such an environment has on body and mind is already becoming noticeable.
Japanese have known this for a long time, and have a name for it: Shinrin-Yoku. The word shinrin means forest, and the word yoku stands for absorbing the atmosphere through your senses. We call it in proper Dutch "bosbaden" forest bathing. For years it has been the ultimate 'secret' in Japan to - now scientifically proven - living a healthier, calmer and happier life.
Through Shinrin-Yoku you reconnect with nature in many ways. Consciously spending time in nature can lower your blood pressure, relieve stress and strengthen your immune system. Also, "forest bathing" can boost your energy, creativity and concentration.
Have you ever taken a forest bath?
Text: Anuscka. Artwork: me
Anuscka wrote the original text in July 2018, just before we moved permanently from the Netherlands to Denmark. She had rather severe lower back pain at the time, but experienced great benefit from meditation in the forest.
Anuscka's original blogpost
General info on this artwork
This is a digital artwork, printed with high-quality ink on museum-quality cotton paper (Hahnemühle Photo Rag® 308gsm). The work comes in a limited edition of 10, signed and with a certificate of authenticity.
For these artworks, I start with one or more photographs made by myself. I edit it in multiple process runs and in several layers by color manipulation and adding and editing multiple digital photographic effects. I do that until a surrealistic atmosphere is created that touches me and tells the story I want to tell.
The photograph(s) I begin with has/have an impressionistic, surrealistic or abstract realist style, which is the basis for all my work.