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Night Sea Journey

Apx. 10′ drawings on rice paper on dyed muslin, mounted on canvas.
(This is a selection of artwork that will be in an upcoming exhibit at Monmouth University, titled “Ocean Bodies” in January, 2025. Please sign up for my newsletter for more information.)

 

Artist Statement
The Climate Crisis isn’t just a crisis for physical and environmental reasons. It is a cosmological crisis where the world as we know it and our place within it is no longer understandable. It is a crisis of meaning. As scientists and activists are frantically trying to save species, landscapes, and whole ecosystems, many of them will tell you – we have the science, what we need now is a shift in consciousness. We need the poets.

Through my artwork and social practice, I’m interested in building up a symbolic consciousness so that we can create new belief systems that are healthy and life- sustaining. I bring together specific places, species, or persons, with larger nature-based cultural symbols and archetypes. In my new series, The Night Sea Journey, I call on symbols like Whale, Boat, Moon, Horizon Line, ‘the tree of renewal’. While I acknowledge the primacy of the ocean in climate regulation and stability, its role as habitat, and the issues of massive plastic waste; I also refer to the ocean as a symbol for the cosmos, and the deep unconscious, the psyche that sometimes tosses up new meaning for us onto the shore

Inspired by historical nautical charts that were hand-drawn and mounted on muslin, I created four large-scale (10’) drawings that indicate psychological journeys, such as the horizon line’s call to the distant shore, and pairs it (through latitude and longitude lines) with the annual migration, from Florida to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, of the critically endangered Northern Right Whales. There are just under 400 Right whales left. My work questions what meaning and wisdom leave as we lose these species. Throughout the series, I use water-based mediums: dyed fabrics and resists, India ink, and water-soluble graphite to represent the sea as a shared home and journey way. Life-size sculptures and reliefs, that are similar to my earlier work Nurture Me and Inner Flower, will complete this body of work for a solo show. Much of the work was created through an artist-in-residency with Urban Coast Institute, https://www.monmouth.edu/uci/. Additional research was undertaken at The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism, https://aras.org.