ROQ LA RUE
705 E Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98122
March 11th – April 6th 2021
The UN estimates that between 200 million and 1 billion people will be climate migrants by the year 2050, forced to flee droughts, floods, famines, land loss and deadly storms brought about by climate change. This says nothing of the countless other species who will, and have already, become climate refugees. If we don’t begin to protect things like a coastline, a woodland, or a prairie ecosystem with the passion we use to preserve our comforts, our conveniences, our economy, and our structures of power, things look dire. Nature is already deciding for us what will be preserved, through fires, freezing, floods.
While relatively isolated like everyone over this past year, I’ve been really excited to see the surge in public activism of all sorts. The images of dated and offensive statues being toppled in particular really struck and have stuck with me. The public conversation about values and worth is changing, and I want to make sure my own work changes with it. I’ve embraced a sort of absurdity by contrasting the species I want to elevate with the monuments I want to rethink, proposing a different criteria for who and what we memorialize – and hopefully appreciate before they’re mere images and statues – and calling attention to the increasingly jarring juxtapositions caused my migration.
I’ve allowed myself to feel hope and levity while creating these pieces, as I have to believe there is still natural beauty to be seen, still tides that can be turned, and still hope for a changed conversation about what we value. While the human suffering and the loss of species promised by climate change are truly heartbreaking, I imagine there are some things – our dated monuments, our gatekeeping of culture – that we can afford to let go of with abandon, with humor, with grace.