The collection entitled 'ANTHROPOCENE ❌TINCTION' is part of an ongoing series highlighting the unnatural pressures inflicted on the natural world by humanity. It links the collections 'HOLOCENE TWILIGHT' where monochromatic paintings serve as a warning of fading memories of creatures under threat, and 'TRUE VALUE' where crystal mosaics focus on the importance of keystone species. ANTHROPOCENE ❌TINCTION brings together many elements of the previous two collections; the monochromatic panels again highlight potential irreversible loss, a message which is given further emphasis in the crystal mosaic cross on the face of the principal animal, which at once highlights its preciousness and draws attention to its fate. This collection also focuses on the ocean and critical habitats and ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves and primary rainforests, among the most productive and biologically complex on earth. Their loss could prove catastrophic in terms of climate change due to their importance as carbon storage assets.
The first painting in this collection is entitled SYMBIOSIS', a 2018 1ST ARTSLANT Prize Showcase Winner. The work focuses on several species of flamingo, the most threatened being the Andean Flamingo, which is represented in black and white. Of equal importance and under threat are the mangrove forests. Mangroves and coral reefs have a symbiotic relationship – the reef protects the coastal mangroves from being eroded by the sea, and the mangrove forest traps sediment washed from the land that would otherwise smother the reef. In the same way, this painting has a symbiotic relationship with 'Ocean Rainforest' the second work in the collection; the two paintings each exist individually as a complete work and together as part of a diptych. 'OCEAN RAINFOREST' was a winner of the Artivism Challenge which utilised the visual arts to raise awareness about six critical issues impacting our ocean. The judges included Susan Rockefeller, Dustin Yellin and Aaron Levi Garvey. The painting focuses on several species of sea turtle, one of the Earth’s most ancient creatures who have been around since the time of the dinosaurs. No other group of vertebrates is facing a cloud of extinction quite like turtles, with nearly half being imminently threatened. The critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle, which is less migratory and more reef-associated, is represented in black and white. The ghostly female figure is supposed to represent the source of water, yet here it is uncertain if she may be the source of pollution. An allegorical reminder that our future is inherently bound up with our treatment of the earth’s natural resources. (Click on images for lightbox. See below for further individual image information).