My current body of work deals with the Anthropocene. The term implies that our impact on our planet will be recognizable in a geological context long after we are gone. Rather than glorify our ability to transform our surroundings, the anthropocene shifts the perspective of the conversation, as a vehicle to contemplate the long-term unsustainability and futility of our misplaced sense of invincibility. It allows us to confront our hubris. My current work explores our legacy in terms of the artifacts and ruins we leave behind rather than the untarnished ideals promoted by western culture. James Baldwin said “a society must assume that it is stable... the artist must know, and must let us know, that there is nothing stable”.
My visual language is derived from the fragmented architectural rubble scenes in war-torn cities, human-induced natural destruction and pollution. Rust is a central element in my current work, both through the incorporation of found objects and the direct application of iron-oxide in my paintings. Rust represents erosion, corrosion and the passage of time. Rust links the past, present, and future. In its raw form, iron oxide is a foundational element representative of our potential to harness and transform the natural world. Yet in the surfaces of discarded machinery and architectural ruins, rust exposes the impermanence of our monumental impact and provides an example of how the man-made is reclaimed by nature. We are not separate and above nature. Our actions can not escape, tame or transcend nature.
The Children of Light, Water, and Clay
by Roneld Lores
the sun that once fed the forest
dries and crackles the clay,
and the rains that once quenched its thirst
wash the crumbs away.
The flesh and bones of the perished
slowly decay into dust,
and ruined expanses of cities
gradually crumble and rust.
The dust of all that we were
turns back to blood in the streams
as our fragile memorials to greed
get swept away with our dreams.
The scars that we left on the land
are washed anew by the slurry
as the remnants of the wronged
swallow the sins of the buried.
We who remain cling to rocks
slowly forgetting our past.
Forgetting what we have lost.
The echoes of songs do not last.
This is what it will take,
for we who forgot our way,
to return to who we are,
the children of light, water, and clay.
Here are some interesting reads on our global impact:
Essay on the history of global climate over the last 100K years and the conditions that allowed us to flourish into a civilization. The take-away is that our ability to thrive coincides with an unusually stable period in Earth's climate history. We did not conquer nature, nature nurtured us.
"Human-made materials now outweigh Earth's entire biomass – study"
At the beginning of the 20th century the weight of human made materials was 3% of the Earth's total biomass. The weight of human-made materials now exceeds the global biomass. We now create the equivalent of our global population's body-weight weekly.