Prairie Construct no. 6</i>,  from <u>The Portfolio of Lost Plants</u><i>

Happy Earth Week!

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, the Daily Palette is celebrating earth-friendly art all this week. We are honoring Iowa-connected artists who show respect for our planet through their work.

Prairie Construct no. 6, from The Portfolio of Lost Plants, Archival Inkjet Print, 11" x 16", 2014

About the artist:

Regan Golden-McNerney depicts ecological change in the American landscape using altered photographs and drawing materials.  Golden's work has been exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally, including at the following venues: Gallery 44: Centre for Contemporary Photography, Harvard University's Fisher Museum, Gallery 400, The Rochester Art Center, and The Cue Foundation.  Golden's altered photographs are a part of the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.  She has received grants and fellowships from The Jerome Foundation, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Core Program at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and The Stone Summer Theory Institute at The Art Institute of Chicago.  Golden is also currently an art critic for Modern Painters and ARTPulse.  Golden has a BA from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee.  You can learn more about her work on her website (link below) or on Drawn Lots.

About the artist's work:

"My work is inspired by the scrubby forests and ragged prairies that border subdivisions and railroad tracks.  Since the future of these spaces is uncertain, capturing them at present is crucial.  As an artist, I want to capture the cycle of growth and decay occurring in these small, urban natural spaces.
My new series The Portfolio of Lost Prairie Plants is informed by two small swatches of prairie that run along the railroad tracks in front of my house.  These are remnants of a large prairie and vast wetland, now called Kasota Ponds, which once connected the two cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  Most of the wetlands have been filled in and much of the prairie has been paved over, but some small snippets remain along the rail yard.  Because this is such a segmented landscape, I splice and reorder the traditional horizontal landscape by cutting apart my photographs with an X-acto.  Then I collage together fragments of my photographs by hand and digitally, printing the finished images at the scale of a traditional botanical illustration even though the plant at the center of the page is missing.  This series speaks to the fragility of the prairie landscape and its gradual disappearance. 

I work in collage and altered photographs because I am fascinated by how our sense of images as physical objects is diminishing with the influx of digital media and how this parallels our detachment from natural spaces.  It seems that the printed photograph is as outmoded as the genre of 'landscape' or the idea of 'wilderness.'  Using both digital tools and traditional collage techniques, I hope my work enables viewers to re-examine their relationship to images, as well as the overlooked natural spaces that are part of everyday life."

Regan Golden-McNerney's website

This page was first displayed
on April 22, 2015

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