The ForestCategory: — Feb 7, 05:55 AM
Some people have seen my art exhibition and ask "Why doesn't your work show more of the doom and gloom about the loss of the forests?" That's an interesting question!
This piece from my show is called Requiem for the Forest, and is a deep response to the forest that we are losing. It honors the spirit of the trees in the forest by showing just the living outer layer of the trees- an almost ghostly or spirit-filled presence of the forest that is vanishing in our lifetime. The three trees are presented in front of a wall of actual tree slabs that are from beetle killed trees, along with orange pine needles below. It is not doom and gloom here, but genuine grief.
However, after 8 months of reading about bark beetles form all angles of this complex issue, I find I have taken on much of the scientist's perspective. I have learned in detail about beetle activity and have been inspired by much of what I found, despite the ultimate consequences of the beetle activity in the forests.
(This is an enlarged photo of a Mountain Pine Beetle - the actual size is about the size of a grain of rice!) -photo by Jeff Mitton, CU Boulder
The pine beetles have always been in the woods, and this is their natural long standing habitat. They usually attack the weak or stressed trees, but now their numbers are so large, they beseige the mature healthy trees too. The trees do fight back by pitching out the beetles with their resin. But in times of drought, the trees are stressed and cannot produce enough resin to repel all the beetles. The hotter drier climate affects life in our forests in many ways. Ultimately it is climate change and forest practices that have contributed to the extreme numbers of beetles in our forests.
more thoughts on this in future blog posts....
Jill Powers is a contemporary fiber artist living in Boulder, CO. She experiments with many natural media and processes. She has often raised silkworms in her art studio for collaborations.
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