The Colours Of The Earth Before And After The Fall
The Fast Approaching Storm
This earth of chestnut brown,
Of fresh lime green,
The sand of countless crashing waves,
The sound of shimmering rock,
The taste of seagull's soaring flight,
The scent of deer in spring their call before the night.
On solid ground,
In sea, and all that lives between,
With air and spirit song,
We watch the coming fall,
With care we ready all that we can be, become,
All that is the might of life,
We face the fast approaching storm,
The cost of injury to earth that comes so soon in sight.
Earth: the only known planet with abundant life.
The Fall: an imagined time when changes to the earth's climate cause a pivotal decline to life as ecosystems fail.
Global temperatures rose by 1% in the last century. If they rise by 2% this century The Fall will become a reality.
The Fall is not inevitable. It is a tipping point. Humans can prevent it, together, no matter how young, how old, or how poor, although it is far easier for those who live comfortably. By using and wasting less, through persuasion, by voting for representatives who place climate change at the top of their priorities, through environmental activism, by using renewable energy, by recycling, by choosing not to eat meat products, and through artistic expression that alerts others to consider their actions. Every effort of today lessons the injuries to earth and life tomorrow.
Gazing at 'The World Before And After' from left to right I ponder on the climate of the earth 100 hundred years before and after the moment I know as now. The left side shows the cooler colours of our yesterday, and the right, the hotter colours of tomorrow.
One hundred years is a period I understand as it can be experienced in a human individual's lifespan. I am also mindful of other species who live far longer like the Bowhead Whale that can reach 200 years, and the Greenland Shark who can live up to 500 years. The oldest living tree has already lived ten times longer still at 5,000 years... If every square in the grid you see above represents a hundred years, the oldest tree has lived well over twice as long as all the squares you see.
The human life span is relatively brief, yet the damage humans cause will persist across many generations that follow, and will continue to negatively affect countless living things. With a 2% rise in temperatures this century climatologists have modeled the earth will take around 5,000 years to fully recover. This time is equivalent to the lifespan of the oldest living thing on earth. This symmetry is our before and after...
Although humans have often failed to consider or act other than in their own immediate self interest, they are capable of change and adaption. This is their only path to reduce the severity of the storm that approaches.
My early drafts of the artwork focused on the surface of the earth. As the artwork progressed the grid began to serve my need to show the changing world and the tools we have to understand it. The grid became a metaphor to me for the human ability to understand through systems of measurement.
Humans use the tools of measurement to note the passing of time, the length, volume, mass, weight, and temperature of things we encounter in the physical world. Measurement is the way humans solve countless practical challenges. By using measurements humans are able to make predictions and avoid or lesson risk. The scientific community of climatologists study changes to the earth over time, and their unequivical conclusion is that humans must take action to mitigate The Fall within a short window of less than ten years.
The purpose of The World and After is one way that encourages people to think and act with greater care and urgency, rather than ignore the inevitable because of the comfort and pleasures of today...
A full size extract from the artwork is followed by three studies.