I am humbled by the wealth of knowledge available through public libraries. Journal articles and books allow me to explore wildlands through the eyes of scientists from many disciplines, to visualize landscapes as they appeared hundreds or thousands of years ago, to learn about rare species that I would be extremely lucky to witness with my own eyes, and to imagine possible futures for at-risk ecosystems. I love the process of synthesizing visual connections between disparate concepts from scientific texts. Return was the result of this mode of text-based research. I began with inquiries into global biodiversity hotspots, progressed into a deeper examination of North America’s only hotspot - the California Floristic Province (CFP) - and extended my research into readings about endemic and at-risk species of California fauna. Return highlights the fascinating fire regime of chaparral, the CFP’s most widespread form of vegetation, drawing correlations between the phoenix-like rebirth of this plant community post-fire, the return of the Condor to California, and the possible reintroduction of grizzlies to the state.
Return is a 7.5' x 4' pencil drawing. It was included in my 2017 solo show "Studies & Stories" at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis, MN.