It started on a warm, very warm August day. At just 7 am the house was already sweltering and stagnant, and the artist, disgruntled, went from room to room cranking open the windows to let a little air in. After pouring herself a coffee she opened her computer to check on emails and the news. One of the headlines hit her, hard as a linebacker, and took her breath.
Warming temperatures and melting glaciers are accelerating Arctic warming.
This wasn’t really anything too new; but for some reason it resonated that day. The previous evening she had spent a couple of hours researching places to visit overseas. Which led her to question her part in global warming. Travel had always inspired and refreshed. Had given new perspective. But now she questioned herself. At what cost did her own selfish wants have on the world?
Was this moment and personal realization – and the accompanying feeling of loss – worth recording? A reminder? As a message? It gave her momentum to paint that day, and she swiftly created a piece that captured the abstract beauty of something slipping away. And it made her happy again. The act of making always gave her a sense of control and accomplishment and this piece had also given her something more; the power to say something. The artist hoped that by putting the melting ice right in front of people, it might serve to encourage discussion and reflection. Or act as a hopeful reminder that we can each do something, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
A month passed, and with it much personal change. And then the artist went on a trip.
Hope keeps her going, and with every breath, she considers her own hypocrisy and challenges herself to make art that will at least make a difference….
To compensate for her desire to see the world.
To make amends for all of us as a continent cracks.
painting and story © Anne Griffiths
With Every Breath oil on canvas 36” x 48”