I was a tomboy, and grew up exploring the fields and woods near my home. I left home after high school to go to the San Francisco Zen Center. I knew that my inward journey required me to learn to meditate.
          I ended up hitchhiking for seven years primarily backpacking and living in national parks. Through the beauty and quiet of the wilderness, I touched the interconnectedness of all things in ways I had never felt before. I could sense myself as part of that fabric.
          Later, I received degrees in wildlife management, psychology, and a Master’s degree in counseling. My original intent to work with endangered species evolved to psychology when I felt that working with people was an important part of healing the environment. My work coalesced when my husband and I created a retreat center, Bend of Ivy Lodge, near Asheville, NC.
          Bend of Ivy was a dream, a place to live close to the land. I created sacred space in a transformed barn nestled into the North Carolina mountains near the Ivy River. Bend of Ivy was an expression of spiritual purpose, and a place where all kinds of people could gather for powerful and deep experiences of transformation. It was a weaving together of environmental values as well as a nurturing place for people to heal and change. I, too, was transformed through this experience.
          After health issues meant that we had to sell the Lodge and move off the land, I went through a very difficult time of letting go of what had been core for me for many years.
          My art, which had always been an important thread in my life, became front and center. My deep, heartfelt caring for the earth and all its inhabitants, human and other, provided the inspiration that drives my work.
          I see our Earth in crisis. We are out of relationship with the Earth, with the animals and life-forms that we share it with, and with ourselves. I am a mother and grandmother. And, I have deep concerns for the future for my family and for all beings including the Earth itself.
          It is my prayer that this art touches people, and heals some small piece of what is broken in us, that the world may benefit.


I am grateful for your interest,

Walker Silsbee