May 3 – July 29, 2018
Reception June 13, 2018 6:30 - 8 PM
My work is inspired by my deep connection to nature. My former career as a dancer and choreographer has influenced my art-making, and fueled my interest in how we inhabit both our interior and exterior worlds. As an environmentally conscious artist, I use photography and artist books to explore our changing environment. I am drawn to the process of both becoming and diminishing—not just in life’s flourishing peak compositions, but in the inevitable process of decomposition. Each stage has intrinsic beauty as it transforms shape and content to reveal a different truth. I use photography to make sense of our off-kilter world. – Dawn Watson
Message from GRACE: Imaginings of an Altered World
…”the places are what remains, what you can possess, are what is immortal. They become the tangible landscape of memory.” Rebecca Solnit, The Field Guide to Getting Lost
Earth’s axis tilts, gravity pulls, seasons shift, ice melts, flooding waters rise, or the earth is left parched. The natural world changes beyond recognition. Human activity contributes to these seismic shifts in Earth’s mass and atmosphere. Heightened awareness of our ever-changing world leaves bodies and spirits under stress from this increased vulnerability. Adapt and change to a new way of being or turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the comprehensive observations from elders, science and experience warning of the consequence of denial.
Orbiting in space, NASA’s GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) mission satellites relay data that has transformed our analysis of the Earth’s system. Here on Earth, I make photographs that visually interpret the GRACE data. These twin satellites—two bodies in constant motion—dance a back-and-forth duet. The distance between these partners is measured by microwave sound, signaling gravitational shifts of water and mass. In this work I re-visit my landscape photograph archives and capture new imagery to create an alternative reality based on the potential effects of these seismic shifts, offering an inverted reality that is present but not yet seen. Delicate details or vast landscapes are familiar yet strange, holding both beauty and decay, alarm and possibilities.
NASA’S GRACE Mission satellites, (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) relay data that has transformed analysis of changes in the Earth’s system. GRACE-FO, scheduled for launch in late 2017, will continue the work of tracking Earth’s water movement to monitor changes in underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, soil moisture, ice sheets and glaciers, and sea level caused by the addition of water to the ocean. These discoveries provide a unique view of Earth’s climate and have far-reaching benefits to society and the world’s population.” https://gracefo.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/overview”
GRACE and GRACE-FO is a joint partnership between NASA and Germany’s Space Program. GRACE-FO is now scheduled for launch in early 2018. Jon Gertner’s recent article www.nytimes.com/2017/09/12/magazine/what-could-we-… offers in-depth background supporting the need for continued support of the GRACE mission’s data-gathering regarding climate change.
Dawn Watson is an artist and activist. Her work examines the fragility of both the natural environment as well as our relationship to it and to each other. After twenty-five years as a dancer and choreographer, Watson transitioned to photography, finding affinity in the visual storytelling offered by both live performance and the captured image. She has exhibited her photographs and artist books throughout the United States including The Griffin Museum of Photography, Albrecht-Kemper Museum, Tilt Gallery, Tang Museum, and a solo exhibition at the Los Angeles Center for Photography.