Goal What on Earth Public Arts Project

What On Earth Are We Thinking 

Globe Sculpture by Gillian Campden 

This sculpture was produced for Goal  What On Earth which is a unique collection of 100 resin globe sculptures which are being painted and decorated by some of Ireland’s top artists and celebrities. They will be on public display in a series of Public Art Exhibition’s which will tour Ireland, before being auctioned off to raise valuable funds for GOAL enabling us to continue our work to ease the plight of some of the most vulnerabl

Motivation For My Design


I work, as they do at Goal, trying to make positive changes every day to the planet and assist people to see and understand the bigger picture. It seems people can be so desensitised when we talk about saving lives, when news is streaming with detailed images of suffering, most people are conditioned to see, but not fully understand and ignore the facts in front of them.

My globe design focuses on this, and begins from the very basics of life, our humble beginnings and our existence on the planet. The concept is not for intellectual grasping, but for engaging in and fully understanding the realisation that to save our people, animals, plants, and planet we have to develop an understanding of duality and non-dualility, where dichotomy is transcended. Intellect has limitations when discovering the paradoxical nature of reality and existence. Duality is creation and the forces of nature that create everything we know to exist. Non-duality is seeing this and understanding its connections. 

My interest in Quantum mechanics and the studies of the micro world has inspired my design based on the idea that nothing is separated.

The journey into the Globe starts with the mind; this is represented at the top of the globe. Only a small amount of the world’s population understand that it is our minds that create the very suffering that we have to live with everyday. If we could only rise above the conditioning and control that we face generation after generation, we would be able to tackle the issues that Goal are facing and begin to delete suffering from the planet.

Our minds are conditioned to function in a certain way and from birth we are encouraged to believe we are separate people, living separate lives in a separate country on the planet. We have evolved as a dominant species and with our self importance and determination to progress at all costs we have inflicted disastrous effects on our planet. However when we look at what Quantum physics is now proving we see that we are all made of the same stuff. With this knowledge we can start to open up creative freedom within the thinking mind, seeing the bigger picture, that we are all part of a complex network of connectivity, which the whole globe painting interprets. It is possible to train the mind and see ourselves separately from the limitations of the inner dialogue and independent from the mind. We have immense potential, but must first wake up to what limits us.

So the mind at the top of the world, simplistically represents the inner complexity of neurons and receptors in the brain. It also reflects the complexity of the universe, and in its tree canopy form reflects the interconnecting nature of things. The spinal cord flows out from the brain down through the globe and opens up into the two sets of thirty one spinal nerves, which make up the human spinal cord. These are represented within the structure of a tree, with its branches extending and dividing, stretching out beyond boarders, connecting across the globe through the various countries and continents. Connecting life across the planet through the ultrastructure and infrastructure.  The final Coccygeal nerve loops around the bottom of the globe like the roots of the tree and merges with the universe of planets and stars. These are represented by circular cells, which bring us back to the connectivity of all things, through the basic structure of the cell, the subatomic composition which binds life together. Each perceived star or planet is at a different stage of the division process. The fundamental building blocks of the world are contained within the universe and within the beginnings of life itself. We are in the universe and the universe is within us.

The globe design is inspired by the developing theoretical String theory in Physics, which suggests that all sub-atomic particles are made of string particles and waves, these are the building blocks of everything and make up the multiverse and they all interact and connect in some way. It is what ancient sages and cultures have known for thousands of years. The Buddha taught it in the Paticcasamuppada, in which he said,“Since this exists, that exists; if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist. That is created because this is created, so if this disappears, that disappears. We are all interconnected beings” and if we distroy one single life form or species it impacts us all. 

On one side of the globe the universal roots travel upwards and merge into the double helix, DNA structures which interconnect with brain neurons and travel back into the mind at the top of the globe. On the opposite side of the globe, one of these interconnecting neuron trees breaks into a synapse across the borders of the Americas, again trying to establish a mind that sees no separation of people or continents. These neuron trees are represented in tree like structures to further enthersise the interconnectivity of everything. The main branches running off of the spinal cord tree float across the globe in all directions, to once again form the interconnectivity between everything on the planet. Hanging from the branches are the leaves, they represent the natural world of flora and fawner, together with every individual animal and human on the Earth.
When we look at life from its very beginnings, we see that from the moment life begins, and the cells start to divide, as presented in the painting by the stars and planets amongst the roots of the spinal cord tree. We are all the same, on the first day of life we are a zygote, then we become 2 cells then we divide into 4, 8 then 16 and then 32 cells, where we become a blastocyst, which then forms an embryo, this was the inspired shape for the leaves. It is so interesting to see that a fish, tortoise, chicken, pig, cow, human, and so on are all similar at the embryo stage and no matter what the developmental form turns into, whatever our parents origin, whatever country we are born in we begin the same. If we really grasp this, it should have an effect on how we treat one another, so long as we are not tricked by the judging mind into believing that we are separated. If we fully understood this reality, surely we would not see our neighbours starve or endure suffering from lack of clean water and disease. We would not pollute or carelessly harm and destroy our home, this planet, or continue to ignore the problems our earth faces.

“What on earth are we thinking?”
The problem is our thinking mind.
Shakespeare said “Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so” 

The Globe

The Globe


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Twitter: @GOALWhatonEarth
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Work begins


I couldn't help myself when I started to paint the globe, going off course and painting in the forested areas of the planet approx 31% and diminishing (what on earth are we thinking) however they were slightly painted over as I began the design and incorporated the new colours of the land, which I wanted to reflect the beauty and diversity of colour which we have on our planet, within our people, animals and plants. This forms the foundation to the overall design. 

The planets foundation


I painted the continents in bright colours to represent the beauty of our diverse world and all that live on it.

The globes mind

Constructing the planets mind around the continents at the top of the globe

Constructing the mind around the Arctic regions of the globe. Sculpting and adding the inner complexity of neurons and receptors in the globes brain, it's nervous system and spinal nerves. This will be similar in representation to the universe at the bottom of the globe.  The raised continents give the illusion of looking down deep into the mind and universe.  How similar they are.

Constructing the spine


The spine was constructed onto the globe, I felt as if I was building the planets back bone, which stretches across the globe through the ring of fire.  I carved and painted an orange ridge into the structure as if looking down into the core.

Painting the spine


The spine was sculpted to also represent a tree form.  Again to show the similarities in structure of so many things in our world and beyond.

Carving out the spine


It was so weird when I began to carve out the middle of the tree like spinal cord, it felt like I was operating on the planet, leaving a big scar down it's middle. I could almost feel the pain of the planet from the scar's we have inflicted upon it. When painting the neurons, DNA and synapses across the continents I got a really strong feeling our interconnectivity, the planet seems so small from his perspective and we are so connected within our infastructure, ultrastructure, and our communication devices 

Spine complete


Adding the details to the tree like spine and incorporating the fetus leaves

Fetus leaf detail


Each fetus leaf represents all life on the planet without exception.

A synapse joins continents


The synapse was constructed using gold thread and joins the land masses of Americas, Africa and Asia.  



The neurons merge into DNA structures which flow around the globe.  Representing the basic structure that we are all made of.

The universe


We are in the universe and the universe is in us.

I was looking at the 17" diameter globe this morning and if I worked this out correctly the moon would be approx 13 meters away from me if the universe was at this scale. How mad is that, there's a lot of space out there and we are spinning around on this tiny ball - fascinating how our minds can't begin to perceive the vastness of it all. 

The spine flows into the universe


The base of the spine extends like the roots of a tree into the universe.  With the final Coccygeal nerve blasting its white light out into the cosmos.  It is surrounded by planets and stars,  represented by circular cells  at different stages of the division process. 

The fundamental building blocks


The detail around the base of the spine represents how we are all the same, on the first day of life we are a zygote, then we become 2 cells then we divide into 4, 8 then 16 and then 32 cells, where we become a blastocyst, which then forms an embryo, this was the inspired shape for the leaves. 

Please help support Goal


You can follow the whole project and all of the amazing ideas and artists involved now on: Facebook: @GOALWhatonEarth Instagram: @GOALWhatonEarth Twitter: @GOALWhatonEarth And look out for #GOALWhatonEarth 

The final Catalog of work for Goal What on Earth Project

The Spiritual Journey Paintings of Rathbeagh Farmhouse


The following book was produced and written by Gillian Campden and shows the completed work commissioned by Phil Phelan, and produced to reflect her spiritual journey and her deep, personal connection with Rathbeagh farmhouse, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny, the land on which it stands, its history and its people, both past and present. 

I hope you enjoy this incredible journey.

Spiritual Paintings of Rathbeagh Farmhouse (pdf)


The Camper Restoration



It came to me like this

Interior before


And like this



So I painted it




Irish written on the front Aon Áit A Theann Tú, Tá Tú Ann.  Where ever you go there you are.


New interior


I had to paint inside of course. 


With thanks to Abi for her wonderful curtains and seat covers.

The sink


Another painting



Khalsa Yoga Healing Room


The idea in this room was to create a peaceful space where the art of healing can take place.   I formed the painting around a 6 sided star which is an important symbol in the healing world. I used the central mountain to form this star within the landscape and have pulled inspiration from Lapchi in the Hymalayas. This is said to be a triple triangle: the sky above, the earth below, and the rivers between each forming a triangle. The central mountain is seen as the palace of the Bodhisattva Chakrasamvara, three other mountains are said to be the palaces of Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani, and Manjushri. There are four very hidden sacred valleys in the Himalayas: Lapchi is one. 

May all who come to this place find peace and happiness.

Many Thanks to Peter Whyte www.khalsayoga.ie