Tag Archives: art against extinction

Shadow Play

We are grateful to the editors of the ever-excellent Orion magazine for alerting us to the publication of Crane Maiden, a collaboration between author Brenda Peterson and artist Ed Young. Published by Chin Music Press, the book is also on display as an animated exhibit in the Eric Carle Museum.

A brief excerpt below:




And a note from the artist:

Taoism is an ancient philosophy of nature, simplicity, and humor. The dualism of Chinese Taoism calls us to attend to opposites, like two faces of the same coin—light and dark, parting and reunion, gravity and flight. Yin and yang complete each other, cannot exist separately, enrich and fulfill the other. Their “interplay of energy makes harmony,” writes Lao Tzu in his classic Tao Te Ching. Just as in physics, the positive and negative magnetic fields synthesize and work as a whole. 

In China, cranes are symbolic creatures of nature. They bring good fortune and rain to crops and wetlands, as well as flood and destruction. Good and evil coexist in this Taoist balancing act. The West perceives truth as static perfection, but Chinese philosophy embraces polarities, always in a state of change, always alive. So red-crowned cranes embody both extremes, like the cosmos, or a vessel that can be perceived as half empty or half full.

How will we choose to live, to dance?


Roots Into Deep Time

Now come two extraordinary artist projects that celebrate the ancient elders of our Earth, while exemplifying how art reveals, magnifies and teaches essential truths about how humans relate to the whole of life.

Below, excerpts from a brief essay by Rachel Sussman, relating to her decade-long project to visually document the Oldest Living Things in the World.

Images are relayed from the website of John Grade documenting his ongoing project Middle Fork.







About Middle Fork, Grade writes:

The sculpture is informed by a living tree that stands within a forest near the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in the Cascade Foothills in Washington State. After the sculpture has completed its exhibition cycle, it will be laid at the base of the original tree to gradually moss over and disintegrate into the ground. The process of decay will be captured with time-lapse photography and motion sensor video. Over 4000 people have contributed to the creation of the sculpture. Each time Middle Fork has been exhibited, its length and width have been increased to specifically engage the new space.

The below video highly recommended:



Finite and Alive

This week, we are pleased to urge consideration of a new exhibition of drawings by Rebecca Clark, presented by the Adkins Arboretum. An excellent essay by Tom Jeffreys, with several illuminating interview passages from Clark, can be found courtesy of the Learned Pig, an online resource that resonates strongly with DP.

Below, a montage of her exquisitely fine and deep drawings, and passages from her Artist Statement.








Broken as our planet may be, let us celebrate these soulful drawings in all their quiet grace and joyful virtuosity; let us consider the oysters.