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Elegies to the Underground 2019-2020
As we face the extinction of life on earth and the climate crisis deepens, possibly to the point of no return, I mourn for the beauty of our natural world. The wild and natural world (the sky, ponds, oceans, flowers, mountains, wildlife, the forests, and trees) is priceless and these cherished elements help us to survive. While the trees above ground are critical for our survival in producing oxygen, I am particularly drawn to what happens below ground in the recent discoveries about latticed fungi or mycorrhizal networks. Through sharing resources and working together in complex and infinite pathways, alliances, and kinship networks, trees reach enormousness and increase their chances of survival and ours as well. As one of the most enduring visual metaphors, the tree, with its roots, branches, and foliage, maps hierarchies of knowledge and ideas, and depicts relationships between families, languages, and species. These new discoveries of the hidden life of trees suggest new metaphors for our survival and how we should act as one, in community, to protect our home and our species. These watercolor works are a tribute or memorial to trees whose heartbreaking loss I fear and mourn.