Part of the Vanishing Worlds virtual gallery.
Environmental issues became important to me in the 1990’s while traveling in the Pacific Northwest. I remember one day, in particular, my first day of a two-week trip there. On a hike up to Clear Peak West, the panorama was one of massive clear-cuts with Mt. Rainier looming in the distance. Along roads going north, there were wide borders of tall pines, camouflaging a treeless landscape beyond. It was devastating to see this degradation and impossible to forget.
I traveled to the Caribbean and to South India last year. I asked the local nature guides what the current environmental issues were. The problems in the Caribbean and in South India were the same as ours; the issues were habitat loss, over-development and abusive land practices. When I arrived home, I learned that a 9000 square foot house was being built adjacent to mine and that a local pond was polluted with deck stain that had been dumped into a drainage outlet more than five miles away.
Is there hope for the land? In the remote areas of the wilderness that I have explored, there are often signs of trouble. In my work as an artist, I continue to bring attention to the environment, sometimes to a sense of well-being that the natural world offers, but more often, to conflicts that have evolved between man and nature.