Eco-artist & Global Heating

Anthropogenic Crisis No. 1031 copyright 2021 Douglas Stockdale

I had an opportunity to participate a couple of days ago in a pop-up exhibition and print critique at the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) with some of my recent artwork from my Anthropogenic Crisis series. Attempting to raise awareness about global heating that results from the actions, as well as in-actions, of man-kind. As I discussed in an article published on PhotoExchange, I sequenced the series in my exhibit from the a calmer cyanotype blue to a little ‘hotter’ reds and yellows to see the reaction to this series as the images became more abstract and potentially more confrontational.

The critiques were interesting, ranging from how this series of images resonated when printed on a matte paper, the interesting aesthetics of the cyanotype images and how the final two images, which were predominately yellow or red in tonality, appeared to tie stronger with my concept for the Anthropogenic Crisis series, the issues of global warming. The last image I exhibited, below, appeared to most of the group as what they thought best represented the ideas behind my series, both in the colors tones, but also how the image was not as formally structured and had more visually implied chaos. Signaling the implied message: danger, danger, danger.

Which was something interesting to think about. Although I think my blue images equally represent global warming issues in how polar ice, due to the bluer and warmer skies, is turning into water, raising the sea level, I totally get the more representation colors associated with global warming. I want to avoid potential cliches of red-hot colors and global heating, but in an attempt to connect with an audience, creating more visceral images by including images with a stronger warm tonality could be also more effective. Thus, I feel that the full range of tonalities is appropriate to use. So I am testing some earlier images with a corresponding warmer color shift, such as the image above.

When I invert my images, I am never sure exactly what the results will be. I am also finding that element of serendipity to be playful while working on these. Such as the swirling background pattern that resulted in the image above, as though my central subject has been caught up in a storm. We have seen more than enough storm damage in central United States due to some horrific tornadoes which are rare for this time of year as well as overly powerful. Unusually warm air rising from the south that runs into a cold front coming from the west, creating powerful wind shear and the resulting tornadoes. Effects of climate change and regretfully, we will be experiencing more of this, which could potentially become even worse.

No surprise, I am also finding out about how some of the ‘hot’ reds can go out-of-gamut in color as quickly as the cyanotype blues. I am also testing a variety of papers for these images…

A continuing work in progress, nevertheless, I think that the latest version of the artwork above and below are complete, available on a 24 x 30″ sheet.




Workshops and Portfolio Reviews

Southeast Center for Photography (SEC4P): Creative PhotoBook workshop (Sold Out), a virtual event on Zoom; January 22 & 23 and 29 & 30, 2022, 10am – 1pm, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy).

Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP): Exposure Weekend, virtual portfolio reviews, which I am one of the many portfolio reviewers available, January 27 – 30th, 2022, details here.

Medium Photo: Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo on: March 5th & 6th and then March 12th & 13th, 2022, from 9am to noon, PST. More details and sign-up available now at Medium Photo.

Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC): Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading on Saturday & Sunday, May 14th & 15th and then Saturday & Sunday 21st and 22nd, 2022, from 1pm to 4pm Mountain Time (MT). Registration is open with discounts for members.


Anthropogenic Crisis No. 6909, copyright 2020 Douglas Stockdale

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