2019 - ongoing
Works on paper
In 2015, I worked on a series called Water, is Taught by Thirst at the Blue Mountain Center, an artist residency located at the heart of Adirondacks in northern New York State. I had a map of the Central Adirondacks, and I was tracing the waterways from the map for my work. When I was tracing those waterways from the map, I noticed that there were many names of animals, such as “Eagle lake,” “Little Otter Pond,” “Buck Mountain,” “Beaver Brook,” “Salmon River,” and so forth, as if to keep me company along the rivers and lakes, and up on the mountains.
In my Extinction Studies series, I research maps of the Adirondack region and trace animal names from the maps for my drawings. Floating in a sea of blackness, these names become stars in the sky, constellations, and ghosts of our memories of places we hold dear.
The Adirondack region became a place very dear to me, because of the Blue Mountain Center and the natural beauty this region offers.
Can animals cry out even from maps?
In 1885, the Adirondack Forest Preserve was prompted by the public outcry over declining water quality and the deforestation of the land in the Adirondack region. Today’s Adirondack Park, a six-million acre parcel of public and private lands, was established in 1892 to protect the region from uncontrolled deforestation.
Once unknown and unexplored by the early Europeans, this area was referred to as “the Dismal Wilderness” by the area’s Native Americans, and was shown as a blank space in a 1771 map. By 1850, the European settlers had destroyed enough of the Adirondack forest that it became a growing concern for the public, “as the continued depletion of watershed woodlands reduced the soil's ability to hold water, hastening topsoil erosion and exaggerating periods of flooding.” The lumber industry alone was not responsible for the deforestation, the tanning industry used the hemlock trees, the paper industry used spruce and fir, and the charcoal industry used all sizes and kinds of timber.