Growing up in the Swiss alps I always felt a deep connection to nature and cared about protecting our environment. I am sure my parents were at times annoyed by their teenage daughter giving them lectures about recycling and sustainable living. I didn’t realize though that they took what I said to heart until this summer when my mom told me that to this day she turns off the water in the shower while shampooing her hair. What seems like a small thing to do, she had done for over 30 years because of what her teenage daughter told her. It filled me with hope and it proofed to me that we can all make a difference by changing our own way of living and educating others.
Over the past couple of years, the environmental crisis has been weighing really heavy on me and I have been working on a series of encaustic paintings about the impact humans have on wildlife.
Our oceans are full of plastics, our forests are on fire, the ice is melting, sea levels are rising and animals are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate. As average global temperatures rise, the land and all the species that live on it suffer: Heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, and dust storms are growing more intense. The rising temperatures combined with other ways in which we have degraded forests, prairies and shorelines around the world now put food security, human health, and ecosystems at grave risk.
It is becoming urgent that we significantly reduce our emissions, consume less, buy sustainable products, eat less meat and plant trees. Based on a report issued by the UN and the world’s leading climate scientists we have less than a dozen years left for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. Anything beyond this will have a significant impact on our lives as we know it. I truly believe that we can turn this around by making an effort. We don’t need to live a perfect zero-waste lifestyle but if enough of us make some changes to how we live the impact will be immense.
Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird, and mammal go extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” rate and is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs. The thought of so much wildlife going extinct is very sad and I want to do everything I can to protect what literally has provided inspiration for my art for the past 30 years.
My hope is that this newest exhibition helps to increase awareness about the negative impact we have on our wildlife and that it provides inspiration to take action to protect our world and its wildlife. Each painting within this series tells the story of a Manitoba animal and one of the reasons why the animal’s survival is increasingly challenged such as deforestation, loss of habitat or global warming. 10% of all sales will be donated to a local organization Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (PWRC). Their goal is to rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife in Manitoba and to successfully release them back into their natural habitat. I am very impressed with Pulse Gallery for agreeing to donate 10% of any of my sales to this amazing cause. It’s very heartwarming!
From Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 Pulse Gallery at the Johnston terminal at the Forks will be featuring a few of these works and for one night on Friday, Sept. 27 (7-9pm), all works from this series will be on display. I hope you can join me for a night of art, wine, snacks and feathered friends from Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (they are bringing a couple of owls they are currently rehabilitation).
I hope to see you on Sept. 27 from 7-9pm!