Portrait of a Planet

Soil Ecology Series

Image 3 of 17

Soil Ecology Series (Zones) Photopolymer Etching, 30 x 22 inches

The works in each series are photopolymer etchings collaged from images that I have taken over the years from biology collections, my microscope, studio shots, and from my travels.

I enjoy the parallels that can be made between collage and evolutionary development. Both take what exists and modify its parts to make new configurations. I see visual forms as continually changing adaptations of what already exists. Diversity comes about through new arrangements of  patterns. I am interested in the way patterns arise through gene expression and the relationships of life on our planet.  The genes’ specific time of expression, their placement, and whether a gene is turned on or off plays a role in the appearance of things. Understanding the dynamics of the world humbles me and makes me want to have less of a negative impact on it.

E O Wilson chooses to call our time the Eremocene, the age of loneliness, as opposed to the Anthropocene, an epoch where the planet exists for humans. The rapid decline of species in our time due to habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, over-population, and over-hunting is daunting. I am approaching the subject by learning about working ecosystems and what is needed to bring them back into balance. We as humans need to take a step back and observe our place on the planet in relation to all life on the planet. Each thing we do is linked. Each ecosystem that I study expands my ever-deepening joy I see in the planet, yet I am concerned at how many systems we are breaking down at once. I have a sense of urgency to learn and communicate my sense of awe through my artwork.