2017 - ongoing
Every shape in these paintings is the shape of newly exposed ground near glaciers. This is land that used to be permanently covered by a glacier that climate change has now uncovered. This new earth is like a wound. When a wound occurs, the body instantly begins its healing. These wound-shapes create difficult beauty that invites mourning, critical awareness, and renewed forms of healing and care.
Whenever possible, each painting's pigments are sourced from the places being represented in the painting using stones and plants plus water from glaciers, rivers, and lakes. The materials I use are themselves bearers of meaning; they don’t just symbolize the earth’s memory — they are that memory.
New Earth has received significant media attention, reflecting an urgent cultural need for ways to collectively mourn the climate crisis. Here’s a front-page feature in the Los Angeles Times, a short video on Oregon Public Broadcasting, and an interview on the Climate Change and Happiness podcast.
These abstract maps are drawn from NASA satellite imagery and scientific data but are intentionally inscrutable to science. Rather than presenting painfully familiar facts about climate change, these paintings use those facts to appeal to the emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences of those facts, offering a much-needed space to feel the strong emotions—grief, fear, horror, rage, wonder—that climate change elicits. Allowing ourselves to fully experience these emotions is the first step to being able to make wiser choices as individuals and citizens. These paintings offer an intentionally sensorially gratifying space in which one can stop rationalizing or catastrophizing, and can, instead, feel.