Sea Irises 

Sea Irises, is a series created from the unlikely partnership of encaustic beeswax and seaweed.  While seemingly unrelated, these natural materials draw our attention to two elemental building blocks of sea and land habitats and the critical roles each play in their larger ecosystems. 

 

In recent years, scientists have documented radical changes in the health of both seaweed and honeybees due to the threats of global warming and toxic chemicals found in air and water.  We know that the effects of human climate change at these fundamental levels of life have enormous repercussions for small and larger organisms higher up the web.

In these works, west-coast seaweed is hand-modeled into florets, referencing the comparisons between marine and land environments.  The natural forms float in a “sea” of encaustic wax.  Under some paintings, North American coastal charts are visible.  The wax is incised with circles, referencing the larger Earth-Moon-Sun orbital system's role in tidal patterns, reminding us that even the tiniest of living elements, and our human behaviour, are key to the larger universe.

© 2019 Shary Bartlett.  All Rights Reserved