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Posts Tagged ‘colors’

Adriana is one of the most inspiring artists I know whose passion around the climate crisis really does invite one to stop and think creatively about how to make a difference individually as well as collectively. Learn more and be inspired through her own words and images shared in this guest post.

Adriana Prat stands next to her work, Breaking Free.

I am so thrilled and honored to write in Cynthia’s blog! I first met Cynthia years ago at the Riverside Gallery during one of our group exhibitions and since then I have always admired the poetry and poignancy of her blog posts, her empathy and humbleness, and the beauty and sensitivity of her photographs. I am delighted to have more opportunities to interact with Cynthia and her beautiful art lately through the i3C Artists Group we both belong to, and that I will talk about further here.

Pollution and the Gold

I am a non-representational artist who intuitively creates mixed media paintings, while mostly meditating on the urgency of the environmental crisis, its impact, and the adaptation all ecosystems must go through to survive. I work driven by my emotions and by the physicality of the art materials, open to happy accidents and chance, and with a strong thirst for color and texture.  

Exploiting Beauty

During my early days in Argentina, I spent hours drawing or building craft projects. My father, an environmentalist ahead of his time, influenced me into value nature and the other species, and to be curious about the world that surrounds us. This early life experience impacted my decision to study science. After I moved to US, a more introspective life reconnected me with my old love for artmaking and I became an artist who worked part-time but with passion and determination, even while working full-time in science and raising a family that was always supportive of my life choices.

Topographies of the Exploitation of Our Land II

Because I lived much of my early life under a military dictatorship in Argentina and later as an immigrant in the US who could not vote, it was not until I became a full-time artist and a US citizen that I was able to speak up through my art. I am focused in using my art to bring awareness and action for the urgent environmental crisis.

Change is on its Way

Like in other aspects of life, I face a dilemma of what materials to use in my art practice that are better for the environment. In the spirit of refusing, reducing, reusing, repurposing and/or recycling, I paint mainly on corrugated cardboards from packaging materials, or on rejected, found surfaces, like canvases I find on the curb, or I thrift, and I push myself to consume only a small amount of new art materials. I believe the climate crisis resolution is an ethical and moral obligation we have for our future generations and for the other species that share our beloved planet Earth. By finding more sustainable ways to produce my art, I feel I move in the direction of halting my environmental impact in the world.

Your Brain on Climate Crisis News

Informed by my science background, my abstract work frequently resembles topographies that can be imagined either on a microscopic or a macroscopic scale. At a microscopic level, they are evocative of the cells of organisms I have studied and manipulated during my scientific research days, and of the metabolic paths and intracellular structures I have analyzed and investigated.

Andriana standing next to various works.

At the same time, while I paint, I find myself exploring these forms or topographies at a macroscopic level and they seem reminiscent of maps, geographies, or even our planet, in its constant struggle to survive due to the constant human-induced exploitation. Some of my works evoke the explorations found on vintage maps, much like itineraries of digging expeditions set to exploit the vital and finite natural resources (water, fossil fuels, gemstones, etc) found underground. In some of my paintings, the textures and marks I introduce delineate approximate concentric maps that evoke how some of the land’s ecosystems, the coastlines, for example, are changing due to ocean water raising. As global warming continues with the consequent water rising, some islands, lands are doomed to disappear…  

Treasure Island

You can see more of my work on my website www.agprat.com or my Instagram account @agprat.art.

As part of my curatorial activities, I am actively curating the i3C (inspiring Change for the Climate Crisis) Artists Group and its exhibits. The i3C Artists Group has currently over 20 multidisciplinary artists (and counting…) from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Canada. The i3C artists’ diverse backgrounds and art practices enhance our shared commitment to the topic of the environmental crisis and our mission to inspire action to help resolve the environmental crisis. The group’s exhibits are conceived as an evolving and ongoing project, with iterations in different venues to continue spreading the i3C artists group’s mission. The group’s art processes and visions vary: some artists explore the impact of consumerism by reinventing reclaimed materials, or by creating a dialog with humanity’s waste and pollution; some celebrate the natural beings and their interconnection, pointing to their unique beauty or vulnerabilities; and some address the effects of climate change in our communities or global ecosystems.

You can check out the i3C Artists Group’s website (www.i3CArtists.com) or our Instagram account @i3cartists to get inspired and to know more about the group’s events in art centers, gallery spaces, and other venues.

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On the porch are two pots of sweet basil, two pots of Mexican tarragon, Thai basil, pineapple sage and to fill out the corners and spill over the bannisters, a large pot of magenta petunias and a small pot of ivy. And then there is the evolvolus hybrid or dwarf morning glory. A completely random purchase because the pickings were kind of slim at my Home Depot garden center but I needed to buy something even if it wasn’t edible.

Of late I’ve been pinching the basil and making little caprese salads. They are little containers of summer for Steve as he recuperates. The pineapple sage is flourishing but I can’t think of what to do with it. I see recipes for cocktails but I’m not making any cocktails to go. For now I’ll simply enjoy the green of its large leaves and hope that it might bloom though it is a bit late in the season.

I haven’t completely forsaken the larger garden … some things have bounced back after the recent rains but it is nice to have a tiny discrete spot to work with. Taking care of the plants is a bit like a morning meditation.

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Artists Jeffrey Nowlin, Cedric Harper and Me

Lucky for me I was standing next to two incredibly photogenic people. Via the following link you can read more about the opening reception for the exhibit, “Inspiring Change for the Climate Crisis,” at UVA’s Arthaus Gallery in Allston. The exhibit can be viewed through September 16th. Drop by if you can and then check out some of the local restaurants in the area.

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My dad used to say when he needed to pray he prayed in the garden. I don’t think I pray in the garden but the garden does provide respite as well as nutrition. For all sorts of reasons this year’s garden has been a source of joy … and a chore. In part I think I was too ambitious. I had no plan though I think I was pretty good about not planting things we didn’t actually eat. And we did try some experiments like kale that survived the bunnies and tasted so good cooked with store bought turnips … which inspired us to try planting turnip this fall. We’ll see …

The basement is full of hardneck garlic (which means that we were able to eat some garlic scape before the bulbs were fully formed). Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes everywhere. I’m trying to find ways to preserve them. The Italian basil, planted all over the place, has thrived. Lots of frozen pesto (and herb butters) to be had later in the year. I feel bad that life situations happened such that the Thai basil could not be used to our favorite extent (e.g. in stir fry) but the beautiful purple flowers were a treat for pollinators.

Though we near the end of a hot dry July I can look out the kitchen window into the garden below and I can see tomatoes reddening. Roma and Big Boy (or Girl) and a cherry variety. A lot of things are withering in the current heat wave. Sunday will be 100. There’s a part of me, and I did confer with that fellow, that knows some things have had their run and so in the cool of the morning I will simply need to weed and clean and begin to prep the earth for our fall plantings. I must say I never imagined that indoor and outside watering could be an exercise. But I think it truly is!

That is the beauty of gardening … the transition of seasons … engaging with the flow of time … it has been a particular joy this gardening season to see perennials planted last year, just green leaves, return and thrive and for the first time flower. Yes!

From the kitchen window I can see the bounty of the coneflower. I cut some of the flowers for the house and now know the rest will wilt and the dried seed heads will feed the birds into the fall. I watched them last year but never had my camera in reach. Maybe this year.

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I’m sorry Steve was not home to help me harvest the potatoes we planted but I am sure he will enjoy consuming them!

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Behind the garage is goldenrod, blue cornflowers and red clover. They grew up on their own, seeds dispersed by the wind or planted by some former resident. I planted pink dianthus, orange-red marigolds and some carnations from seed. No rhyme or reason. No theme. There is even a pot of white snapdragons just because they were on sale in the store.

Behind the garage is an unsettled area. Every hard rain reveals bits of old thick glass … recently I’ve been finding marbles … what stories do they have to tell? … and cement chunks from some demolition that took place not too long ago. One has to be careful where one walks.

Behind the garage there is the remnant of an old apple tree, its bark overgrown around what must have been a chain link fence at some point. Pieces of metal still stick out. Animals parade through. It is an avenue. I’ve seen possum, raccoons, cats, squirrels and lots of rabbits. I can only imagine what else might meander through in the dead of the night when I am not looking.

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… and it is beautiful.

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from the garden

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