My masks are a response to the current administration’s flagrant disregard of our fragile natural environment and refusal to acknowledge the human role in the global warming crisis. Our air, oceans, waterways, forests, and National Parks are all under siege. There is a severe decline in the important bee population as well as the Monarch butterfly and other species. Elephants are poached for their ivory tusks. No one is spared the overwhelming human toll from wildfires, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.
My visages invite the observer in to make them pause and appreciate both the grandeur and fragility of nature and the need for our vigilant protection. The first masks were created with recycled cardboard shoe inserts and packaging. I haunt junk stores for rattan baskets and other cast-offs that bring their histories. The reuse of the toys, feathers, corks, chopsticks, buttons, beads, and housewares has the bonus of reducing my carbon footprint. When evacuated from our home for nine days during the 2017 wildfires in Sonoma County, I spontaneously created on-site art on the first clear day on a walk along the Bay in San Rafael. These pieces were my first response to the fires—a photo journal that I recorded with my iPhone. There was enormous freedom in embracing ephemeral images while my physical art and possessions could be ash. My studio work taps into this spontaneity while becoming more complex in structure and intention. The masks are a natural continuum of “Stick Stories” where I show a concern for nature; now, I broadcast its vulnerability.