New Earth 15 (Pacific Northwest USA and Alaska), Natural and synthetic pigments and rainwater on paper, 22 x 36″, 2019
This series envisions how climate change is reshaping our planet and our embodied experience of it.
The shapes in the paintings map newly exposed ground near glaciers. This is land that used to be permanently covered by a glacier that is now uncovered. This new earth is like a wound, or new, delicate skin that has formed over a wound and is now (ready or not) exposed to the world.
I began the series thinking that I was making paintings that might help explicate climate change through sensory experience, make it more real by making it visible. But the more I worked on it, the more I found that these paintings are as much — or more — about confusion as they are about clarity. They are as much about unknowing as they are about knowing. The paintings are presenting visual information gained from scientific sources. To find these shapes, I relied heavily on NASA satellite images and data-based projections. But the visual information is overlaid in such a way as to create difficulty in apprehending any one section or shape. The information swims together into composite shapes, the colors overlapping to form new colors. This reflects the fundamental interconnectedness of all life, all locales, the way that a glacier calving in Greenland causes the ocean to rise in the Marshall Islands.
It also reflects the overwhelming confusion most of us feel in response to climate change. The glut of information available to us often results in feeling flooded and therefore less, rather than more, informed. We’ve been taught to structure information hierarchically, to parse history into nations, time periods. Climate change eradicates those helpful boundaries. There are no limits, no parameters, no political boundaries, no temporal boundaries… Please read more about this series here.