The “Threatened” series represents the global threat to our natural environment including our human population. When I began the mask assemblages, the EPA had launched its attack on protections that included national parks, water, and creatures such as butterflies and bees. The US is now alone in the world refusing to sign the Paris Climate Agreement. US science deniers make and implement policy despite Mother Nature’s warnings with record-breaking rising temperatures, hurricanes, and wildfires. I was almost finished with the mask “Bye, Bye Beez” when we had to evacuate our home in Santa Rosa because of the wildfires rapidly sweeping across Northern California. These are the largest wildfires our country has ever known with acres and acres of devastation. While evacuated, my husband Ken and I walked along a wildlife trail in San Rafael, CA. on a sunny, non-smoky day. I was compelled to make visages with the natural materials at hand. It was freeing to work in this temporal manner…to let the winds and the weather alter my art after I left. At this point, I didn’t know if my home would survive the fires that were gaining in unprecedented scope and momentum. I needed to divest myself of attachment to tangible things. The only records of this site art are the photos I took. When we returned safely to our home, I walked familiar paths and beaches to continue to work in this spontaneous way…inviting nature to present anthropomorphic images to me. Before I created the mask “Inferno”, I was compelled to roam the burn sites to see and smell the ash. I need to be a witness and record on camera the ghost-like images as evidence of the once normal lives there.
My art will most likely continue to be influenced by the North Bay disastrous fires along with the scorched earth policies of our present government. The constructed masks are created mainly from recycled materials and acrylic paint. The on-site art is assembled from a gathering of nearby natural detritus. The resulting photo images are printed from a high-quality desktop printer using archival paper and inks.