Andree Singer Thompson



Fragile Ecologies
March 2006

Elizabeth Stanek, in collaboration with
  Andree S. Thompson, Valerie Otani

An installation using unfired clay and nontraditional clay processes as commentary on the state of the environment. Wet clay forms that referenced landscape dried and cracked; dried clay forms reminiscent of ecosystems dissolved in water. Clay stumps imbedded with images of endangered species referenced clear cutting.  As a key element, visitors to the gallery triggered motion sensors to activate water, heat and “wind” that hastened the erosion and changes of disintegrating forms. The dissolving unfired clay in water, and the cracking, curling movement of clay as it dried, were striking visual metaphors for the processes of time and change. As water was activated, transparent watering tubes jerked much as a hospital feeding tube, creating a sense of urgency.  Relevant environmental literature was available to further inform visitors about environmental issues, emphasizing David Suzuki’s message as lead speaker at the NCECA conference.  

Realizing their role as activators in the disintegration process provided viewers with an enhanced awareness of our communal ecological dilemma and an opportunity to contemplate how human activity contributes to that process.

Manuel Izquierdo Gallery, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon; part of the NCECA Conference

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