And the Closer We Look
My fascination with a microcosms ability to echo the cosmos led me to phytogram filmmaking. This microfilm is a dive into the unfathomable depth of a desert flower petal.
Desert Under Water
Desert Under Water, is a collection of cyanotype prints on cotton created in 2020 while on location in the Mohave Desert, Joshua Tree, and the Sonoran Desert. During one particularly hot exploration in the Sonoran Desert, I noticed that I was walking on ancient sea shells.
Unity in Isolation
Art in the time of the pandemic known as Covid-19. The cyanotype prints were created in Portland, Oregon while spending time with the abundant and extraordinary wildlife in the Pacific North West.
Requiem for the Salton Sea
Requiem for the Salton Sea, consists of (50) 6×6″ cyanotype prints on paper, and (1) 72×44″ cyanotype print on silk. Both were co-created with the Salton Sea as it communicated its experience of the Anthropocene. Land degradation and receding shoreline due to human activities in its watershed continue to destroy this ecosystem.
Silk and paper were painted with an eco-friendly UV sensitive coating prior to arrival.
The silk was draped over car tires recently exposed as the shoreline receded. Parts of
the silk mixed with damp algae.
The process was a memorial, the completed works a requiem, myself a
Background world: The Salton Sea is a saline lake located in the southeastern desert of California. This ecosystem is home to five endangered species, numerous sensitive species and literally millions of migrating and wintering water birds. Due to the significant loss of wetlands in California, this ecosystem is one of the most important for birds flying the Pacific Flyway and supports some of the highest levels of biodiversity. It is now in its hospice stage due to increasing salinity, water quality issues, temperature, and eutrophication resulting in increased algae and bacteria known as dead zones. As I write this only two species of fish remain and I am informed by a local ranger that they will die off before the end of the year. The collapse of the ecosystem means extinction for a number of species. In October 2019 Imperial County declared the Salton Sea a state of emergency and major public health crisis.
To be with this extraordinary landscape is as surreal as it is heartbreaking. My time hear is filled with wonder at the radiant beauty that defies the human impact that created this catastrophe. Beauty is truly a warrior defeating disparity and opening space for the final transformation into formlessness and memory. I feel love, grief, loss, and the presence of the miraculous. The entire shoreline is made of death. I stand on bones both beautiful and filled with the memories of lives lived migratory and transient.
“A shrinking Salton Sea could expose its toxic-coated bottom to wind storms, posing a major air pollution hazard… Salton Sea mud contains enough arsenic and selenium to qualify for disposal in a dump reserved for the most toxic of society’s trash.” www.sci.sdsu.edu
Geyserville Burn, cyanotype on paper, (5) 16×20”, February 2020. Geysers Rd., Geyserville, California – global warming induced wildfire.
Background world: At the origin of the wildfire, black matchsticks as tall as trees point skyward, grey ash covers the earth and hay colored chemical fire retardant sticks to everything as far as the eye can see. A bright blue sky defies the lingering fear still present. Several small streams sparkle.
Process: Using paper painted with an eco-friendly UV sensitive coating, I rub it in the chemical fire retardant, ash, and debris, then place it in the small stream; the bright sunlight rains down from above.
Dragons considers the immediate experience of existence itself. The materials used during the making process are elements of the world both natural and human made; the result, reminiscent of the Cosmos. Variations created through uncontrollable circumstances generated by wind, sunlight, gravity, and water depict forms not drawn from the visible world. It is my intention to create an aesthetic feeling awareness that moves between viewer and artwork.
Process materials for Dragon I-VIII: survival garden heirloom seeds, loosely woven mulberry fiber
Process materials for Dragon IX and X: single use plastic