The six recipients of the first Tidal Shift Award presented original and thought-provoking artworks that engage with our climate crisis and inspire action. Through illustration, metalsmithing, sculpture, music, aquaculture, and fashion, these artists proved that the future is in good hands, but the time to act is now.
This dress was made using plastic shipping/storage materials. I collected them over a month’s period of time from the shipments the store I worked in had received. I made this dress in order to raise awareness of how much waste we generate and the amounts of plastic pollution we create. I interlaced the plastic together using grommets and sashes. The sashes are compromised of white dead-stock fabric that I naturally dyed yellow with turmeric. I intended for the dress to be able to fall apart with one pull of a sash, littering the floor with plastic.
Flora Lung explores the climate change threats of deforestation and desertification, and the important role of the individual to protect our environment. My sculpture is inspired by early diving gear, “Aqua Lung”. Just as humans developed technology to survive underwater, this futurist figure has been forced to invent new technology, Flora Lung to survive on land.
The solitary figure sits atop a lone pine tree stump among a vast expanse of dry land, devoid of vegetation. The figure uses oxygen from fully grown air plants to survive. I chose air plants due to their resistance to harsh conditions and their need for minimal water. The figure’s posture and grip show that it is intent on protecting and nurturing several small sprouts in order to replenish Flora Lung.
My piece was designed to bring attention to the effects of climate change on coral reefs, and the importance of education on the subject. The message of this piece is that if drastic action is not taken quickly, most coral reefs will die off and healthy, colorful corals will only be found in books and photographs. The book also represents education, because people are most likely to take action against climate change if they are educated on the subject. The final message that my piece brings to the table is the domino effect that the deaths of coral reefs will have on countless species and ecosystems. As represented by the fish swimming in only the healthy corals, if the reefs die off so will over 25% of all marine life as there will be a lack of food and nutrients.
Microcosms is made up of a series of little worlds, or ecosystems, each of which are carefully designed to reflect specific environmental outcomes of the current climate crisis within Maine. As someone who has lived in Maine their entire life I have seen the effects of global warming first hand. Whether it be in the form of droughts my family has experienced while farming, massive algae blooms that kill freshwater ecosystems, or diminished sea life caused by the acidification of oceans throughout Maine.
A. R. Ammons is my favorite environmental poet. His written snapshots of the natural world are forthright about the peril nature is in, but also about its potential for regrowth. This composition for SSA choir is set to two of his works about a single bee. In one of these poems, “Release,” the bee travels homeward. In the other, “Oblivion’s Bloom,” the bee meets its death upon the arrival of the first cold. Ammons’ writing resonates today, as carbon emissions, loss of habitat, and the pesticide industry cause the unprecedented destruction of honey bee colonies. I chose to reorder the poems so that Oblivion’s Bloom comes first, after which the bee, perhaps representative of the whole species, finds his way home. Melodically and thematically, this piece explores the idea of home: the bee’s home, and the home he shares with us.
I attended a 2019 Climate Walk that travelled Vermont to bring awareness to environmental justice. I observed the litter that we encountered while traversing highway shoulders. Plastic bags fluttered like prayer flags alongside mosaics of beer cans embedded in the dirt. However, life also flourished in this strip of borderlands between technology and wilderness. Released from tree cover, seedlings reached for the sun, and thousands of salamanders dashed the asphalt to breed in downhill vernal pools.
Presented by the The Climate Initiative and Portland Museum of Art, Maine.