PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS > SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS
The expression of social issues has a long history in the visual arts. Artists have spoken out against injustice for centuries, at times masked with subtlety, sometimes stark and overt. The issues we face today are globally devastating. It takes courage to go against the status quo, and ability to break out of denial. Hopefully, this work may change the devastation we are witnessing today. Earth Scroll Series 2009 The Earth Scroll Series addresses toxic chemicals used as food preservatives on our foods. It was inspired by the warning on a box of pears destined for market, but not seen by most “consumers”. Research on the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) revealed that certain of these compounds are toxic to humans in a variety of ways; some of them are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Each scroll's title, "Emotion", "Hazard", "Denial", "Destruction", and "Grief" ,addresses the human response to the knowledge that toxic chemicals saturate our food and environment. Fear and feelings of powerlessness over the multicorporate powers that produce this destruction circumscribe the populace to inaction. Horrifically, due to the huge amounts of lobbying and money politicians accept, our United States government sanctions corporate methodology destructive to life on Earth. The network of overlapped images silk-screened onto the scrolls juxtapose family photos, human sperm and eggs, and food (pears) with chemical diagrams, warning imagery (skulls and crossbones), microorganisms and images of planet Earth to create a story about consequences. The scroll format alludes to the sacred documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found in Khirbet Qumran, in the West Bank near the Dead Sea. in the 1940's. Written during or before the time of Jesus, these scrolls are known to contain guidance to the peoples of those times on morality and ways to conduct their lives so as to be in harmony with our planet. We must ask ourselves and those in power: How can we fulfill our responsibility to inculcate love and respect for Nature and our natural environment, which cannot defend itself?