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We live in the midst of one of the greatest extinction events in the history of our planet, and the biggest since the end of the Cretaceous 65 million years ago. It is estimated that perhaps over 100,000 species of animal, plant, fungus and other living being may be going extinct every year, most of which go undocumented. Between habitat elimination for development and agriculture, overhunting and overfishing, and pollution from numerous human activities, among other influences, we may be at the root of many, of not all, of these extinctions. And the rate is too fast for many ecosystems to recover.
This piece speaks to that crisis. A tiny ceramic deer representing the animal kingdom, and the plants through sphagnum moss, are trapped in a tiny box of reclaimed wood. And there’s less room to run as the effects of human expansion–represented by magazine cuttings suspended from the ceiling–encroach on what little room is left. Both appear as though they may fall out of the box at any moment.
Our immense appetite for resources is one of the primary driving forces behind the damage we do to the environment. But through reclaiming resources we reduce the demand for new ones, and to embody that ethic, the majority of the materials (box, scrap wood, deer, moss, decorative paper) are secondhand, with clippings from nonprofit newsletters and retired textbooks carrying dire messages to the viewer. Therefore this piece presents both the problem of species endangerment and extinction, and models a solution. And, as with all my other art, part of the proceeds for this piece with benefit a nonprofit organization that protects wild animals and plants and other beings of the wilderness, as well as the ecosystems they inhabit.