I love walking among rusting trains and weathered warehouses. Each detail reveals images that evoke mystical landscapes and the heartbeat of human experiences. Decades of layered paint begin bubbling, bursting and chipping to create miniature mountain ranges or angelic teardrops. At least that is what I often see on these surfaces.
Retreating into the beauty that is found in the blight, we can uncover signs of hope. Just when we think that ruin and destruction are having their way (caused by human inattention or otherwise), possibilities arise that we did not know even existed.
A temperature gauge on a train passenger car, rusted at 210 degrees, sent my mind rocketing in many directions. Initially, I wanted my rendering of the rusted gauge to be a reminder of the danger of climate change getting stuck on a destructive path by the decimation of EPA regulations.
But finally I settled on it representing the ever-heated issue of the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment. I am celebrating Nevada saying yes and becoming the 36th state to ratify the amendment. It is the first to do so in forty years.
My image, “Tear in Time,” is a plea for adding the ERA to our constitution, needed now more than ever with the election of Donald Trump and his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet, while we labor for a federal constitutional amendment, persistent activists in each state are successfully working hard to incorporate equal rights amendments in state constitutions. Oregon became the 23rd state to add an ERA to its state constitution, and Maine is gearing up to be the 24th state.
See Carrie Baker’s article, “Nevada Says ERA Yes!” in the summer issue of Ms. Magazine. “It is so … important,” Nevada State Senator Pat Spearman reminds us, “because women have got to have recourse. We are equal…but it’s not codified in the Constitution.”
Creating new compositions out of old bits and pieces of the past helps me find hope for finding solutions to other things such as overturning the regressive and draconian national policies before us. My image, “Mountains from Oxidized Moments,” is offered to you as a landscape of new-fangled directions, erupting out of a graveyard of discarded-past-persistent-potentials.
I don’t give my images innovative names except for my abstract work. I want their titles to raise the question: Do you see what I see?