Copernicus and The Tree Snake
Are we the center of the universe? That is the question that started the above piece. While I know that we are not the center of the universe scientifically speaking, it seems to me that we often act that way as a population and country. Our own wants and desires matter the most, sometimes to the detriment of others.
Recently I have been reading books that have to do with man's impact on our world. Species are interdependent. When the population of one changes, that affects all of the other populations that interact with it. Such is the case with the Brown Tree Snake. It was brought to Guam accidentally in the 1940's and has been wreaking havoc ever since. Trees and birds have been greatly affected (some are extinct or near extinction). I am not sure that anyone could defend the loss of habitat and species that has taken place.
For the above piece I wanted to use imagery that was related to extinction or over population. I also wanted to reference the sun as a rather large portion of the piece and the blue "eggs" which to me are either eggs or connected bodies of land. (Much of what we know about species migration comes from the ideas of various parts of the world being connected or disconnected at one time or another.)
The images I worked with are based on several books that I have read in the past couple of months. As mentioned above, the books mostly concern man's effects on the environment. I picked symbols that I thought might be recognizable in a general way but that would remind me of some of the things that I had read about.
I chose the snake image to represent the Brown Snake mentioned above. The flower is a plumeria which is an endangered species in the state of Hawaii. The "boar" image represents the overpopulation of that animal, also in the state of Hawaii. And lastly the bird is the endangered Hawaiian Honeycreeper, a beautiful bird that comes in an astonishing array of colors with a wonderful variety of specialized beak lengths. My "man" figure is upside down and disconnected with the weight of the bird resting on his head, both literally and figuratively. The red lines represent gates that are both open and closed, signifying in my mind that closing out or opening up areas to different species is damn near impossible. Conservation is a hard issue and it isn't always about keeping animals in zoos or protected and enclosed areas; it's also not always about keeping animals out.
With each of the last several pieces I have used more and more specific imagery. I keep telling myself that I won't do this anymore; it's too goofy. Maybe not though. It's what is coming out and maybe that is alright. The pieces are connected to what I am learning and some of the shapes and figures make me laugh. I thought that I couldn't possibly include disembodied legs and yet I did. There they are and they work as a design element. Go figure.
Thanks for reading. Please send me an email with any comments.