Anthropogenic Crisis – Burning Palm

Anthropogenic Crisis No. 157750 (Burning Palm) copyright 2016/2021 Douglas Stockdale

As I wrote about earlier during the LACP Exposure Weekend I had reinvested my honorarium for being a portfolio reviewer to do some networking with a few curators and gallerist that I have not had a chance to have a discussion with before this. Okay, maybe there was one or two individuals that I already know, but it was a great chance to catch up on what they have been doing recently. And to provide everyone with an update on my Anthropogenic Crisis project and hear what potential environmental exhibitions they had planned in the near future.

One of the images, Burning Palm, above, in my Anthropogenic Crisis portfolio was one of the many photographs that elicited a consistently strong visceral response. That this and the other photographs investigated a dystopian landscape related to climate change. The characterization that these photographs had qualities of being a ‘disturbing beauty’ became another common thread. I felt like I had really hit the mark with this project.

As might be expected with a diverse group of curators, there is a wide range of opinions about this project, from needing to be a bit more subtle to draw the reader in to needing to be even more graphic with very strong potential consequences related to climate change. I will admit that few of my photographs did not connect the dots, and in retrospect realizing why, I have put those photographs in the HOLD bin, as there might be other aspects of this project where these will be a better fit. As in keeping with an early stage development project, there will be some hits and misses and it is always great to obtain feedback at this point.

One of the consistent comments about Burning Palm is that this photograph reminded almost everyone of the devastating wildfires that have been ravaging the country, especially western United States, for the past few years. They remarked that this photograph’s image was very similar to what they saw extensively covered on t.v. during those wildfires. While this photograph was not made during the 2020 wildfires in the adjacent mountains, there were a couple of days that the sky above the palm tree in my back yard appeared very similar. Probably that graphic memory inspired this composition.

One of the aspects of this global climate change are the resulting droughts that allow entire forests to become explosive tinder boxes. We need environmental polices that slow, if not halt and reverse the emission of greenhouse gases that is heating the ocean that cover 70% of the earth’s surface.

Best regards

Doug

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Workshops:

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: May 14 & 15 – 21 & 22nd, 2022, from 1PM-4PM (Mountain Time). More details and sign-up available now at Colorado Photographic Arts Center.

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