A work I co-created that addresses global warming is headed to an exhibit in Healdsburg, California. Here’s its story.
I first met Hieronymous Bosch in art history class. I thought he was weird.
Hieronymus Bosch WAS weird – or, certainly, the images he created were weird. He worked in the late 1400’s creating altarpieces and commissions for patrons, but filled them with mages that skewered civic leaders and church leaders. He also filled his works with contrasts: pastoral scenes next to surreal depictions of debauchery, licentiousness and vulgarity.
I met Hieronymous Bosch again in 2014 as part of the creative process for developing “End of Eden,” a textile artwork created in the form of an altarpiece. The work is a collaboration between myself and artist John Lewis, made to submit to SAQA’s exhibit, “Piecing Together a Changing Planet,” which traveled to 20 National Park welcome centers 2014-2016. We were pleased to have the work accepted and to keep track as it traveled to parks and was viewed by over two hundred thousand people.
It is my firm conviction that the dangers of global warming are self-inflicted, the result of human folly, public policy that is unable to grapple with real events, and corporate greed. So, John and I wanted to make a piece that poked hard at leaders of all kinds and would provide viewers with food for thought. We looked to Bosch as our guide.
(Just a little note here about collaborations. Phew! Whatever the artmaking spectrum is, John and I are at opposite ends of it. I work fast and intuitively. John is methodical and a fastidious planner. Between us, we managed to create the PhotoShop images of characters and scenes and make all the photo transfers. John painstakingly pulled all the burlap threads to create the sense of water. I sewed the gold fabric into the “altarpiece” frame.)
So, when you see our work, you’ll see some of Bosch, some of John Lewis, and some of me. Our next stop is the Healdsburg Center for the Arts in Healdsburg, California, to exhibit in “Reflectivity – Artists and Climate Change.”
My recent body of work has been focused on inner stories and inner journeys. This is still important to me. But, neither I nor any other artist lives in a self-contained bubble. We’re part of the real world. I am pleased to be part of this work and part of this exhibit that asks artists to address a critical world issue. Bon voyage Hieronymous!
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