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Woodcut, Pochoir, 2018
This work explores my concern for the earth as well as my fascination with organic and geometric shapes and patterns. Humans have left their mark on nearly every corner of the earth, and everyday more land is cleared and developed.
Google Earth has provided me with an aerial perspective to gain a better understanding of the amount of land humans occupy. Having the ability to zoom in and out allows me to see a given area at different levels of clarity. For example, the state of Kansas at first looks like a natural variation of greens and browns. As I start to zoom in I realize the landscape has been divided into a seemingly endless sea of perfect geometric shapes. Then, as I focus in on a smaller section of land, it no longer seems like the earth, but an abstract image. Viewed in isolation, the intricate, geometric pattern, formed by crop circles, becomes beautiful. As I zoom back out, I am filled with feelings of distress at how much of the earth we have transformed from biodiverse ecosystems into man-made landscapes.
I chose relief printmaking as my medium because carving shapes, patterns and textures into a block resembles the way humans carve the earth’s surface. I chose woodblocks because transforming their natural surface felt right for my exploration of this topic. The process of printing multiples of each block and viewing them in grids is a similar experience to viewing these places from the perspective of Google Earth. First, curiosity, then excitement and fascination, and finally a sense of despair as I become aware of our damaging presence on Earth.