The Time Project

The Time Project is a group of artists from the Boston area who decided to work experimentally and make one piece of art a week for 52 weeks. We would meet monthly to share our motivations and discuss our work. Now in our 4th year, the safe environment that we have created is still going strong, making it fun and doable to continue creating art that is often outside of our comfort zones.

52 Abstract Sculptures

When I joined the Time Project group, I was working for an environmental organization, doing a weekly online publication that spoke to the environmental concerns of the day, with special emphasis on climate change. Making art that related to that complicated subject seemed like a natural progression that could be coordinated with the weekly news. I decided to make abstract sculptures, using drift wood, colored electric wire, and theater gels, to accompany the scientific or political descriptions that motivated the work.

At the end of the first year I had about 40 pieces of sculpture that spoke specifically to the complex subject of climate change. My sense of urgency about the state of the planet, led me to make a video, Nature's Spin Through Art. I used my sculptures to illustrate the very straightforward story of climate change as told by three authorities in the field, Bill McKibben, founder of, George Woodwell, founder of the Woods Hole Research Center, and Jerry Sullivan, a physicist from NOAA. Working with these three men was a privilege and honor for which I am deeply grateful. The fact that the national press gives the same weight of credibility to the relentless barrage of climate change naysayers as it does to 97% of all climate scientists worldwide who can prove that global warming exists, fed my need to make a video that speaks to this very important bottom line truth.

12 Large Abstract Sculptures

Because space was a big concern during the first year of the Time Project with 52 sculptures in all, I was forced to make them small and hang to conserve space. During the third year we settled on doing just one piece a month which meant I could increase their size. I followed the continued theme of our non-sustainable way of living as it impacts us and all other species on this planet, and expanded the variety of materials I used to make the larger sculptures.

#4 Lung Tree

The forests of the world are getting cut down for man's use. The rain forests in particular are vital to the well being of the planet. Trees absorb CO2 and give out oxygen. The forests used to be vast and dense and actually created their own weather patterns. Now they are being destroyed to open the land for cattle ranching and farming. The trees of the rain forests are considered the lungs of the world.

The notion that trees are like ecological lungs inspired me to make a lung tree. Using the shape of human lungs as leaves, I have created a tree in the process of collapse, symbolic of the continuing destruction of the world's rain forests.


Marnie Sinclair, time project, "lung tree", sculpture
inclair, time project, "lung tree", sculpture
#1 Crops

I was thinking about my first piece for my climate change theme when I came upon an amazing photo on the front page of the New York Times. [see if you can find it] Reddish plots of land filled the photo, with one tiny exception: a small clump of green in the middle of a vast landscape. The caption noted that the picture showed what was left of the rain forest after the land had been stripped of its trees and turned into farmland.

"Crops" depicts the cutting of forest and cultivation of the land for growing crops, represented by the small clump of green wire next to the cut stumps, surrounded by the ocher gels. The blue wire tears speak for themselves.


Marnie Sinclair, time project, "Crops" sculpture
nie Sinclair, time project, "Crops" sculpture
#17 Hunger Strike

The Spruce Bark Beetle loves to eat spruce trees in the boreal forests over vast areas of the northern hemisphere. Insect infestations are a normal phenomenon but on occasions when the circumstances are just right a population explosion of a particular species can take place resulting in great devastation. The Spruce Bark Beetle thrives in warmer temperatures that are now taking place in northern woodlands. Global warming has raised the temperature just enough to cause an explosion of this hungry creature. Millions of acres of Spruce trees are blackened and decimated by this tiny beetle that is only the size of a grain of rice.

The three beetles on this stick of wood are large to show the population explosion of this species. The stick, trunk of the tree, is bare 
except for the top which only has a few branches left, to show the almost complete destruction by these hungry beetles.


Marnie Sinclair, time project, "Hunger Strike" sculpture Marnie Sinclair, time project, "Hunger Strike" sculpture
#18 Wobble

As the 'greenhouse' gases get trapped in the atmosphere and the earth heats up, the tundra in the Arctic is starting to melt. Icy temperatures have created permafrost that has locked peat and other organic materials into a rigid state for centuries. Now with the heating up of the earth, particularly accelerated at the poles, the environment is changing. Methane long contained in the organic material is now being released into the atmosphere at an accelerated pace. That particular gas is much more harmful to the atmosphere then CO2 and as a result is speeding up the process of heating the planet. The hard tundra on which native villages and small towns are built is becoming unstable often causing structures to collapse.

"Wobble" is about the melting of the permafrost that is shown below a structure in a wobbly state. 
The yellow gels are the warm air descending into the earth to meet up and eventually melt the frozen blue.


#39 Earth Nest

Once again with this never ending massive oil spill, we are soiling our nest and the children will pay. This piece is about Winnie in an earth nest. For a few days last week our newest grandchild visited us. I was struck once again by the extraordinary innocence, vulnerability and wonderment that is ever-present in the faces of babies of all species. When they are threatened, there is nothing that will get you out of a left-brained mode faster than their safety. We are instantly removed from our arrogant, superior, intellectual perch and thrown into a fierce protective place, that reminds us of our animal roots and that we are a part of that world. Yesterday morning at first light, I witnessed a perfect example of the power of that protective maternal instinct. A large turkey was roosting on the lawn right next to the walkway. My husband passed her with only a few feet to spare. The turkey did not move; instead, she puffed up her feathers and tried to look as fierce as she could without moving. When he was safely by she relaxed and settled back into her splayed wing stretch. A few minutes after he was gone, two tiny heads peeked out from under her huge wing. Two day-old chicks wiggled free into the wonderment of the new day, soon followed by seven others. Within moments they were all out in the open, scratching and exploring; their mother, with her soft protective clucking, had begun her day.


#44 Road Runoff

In 1999 there was an outbreak of mosquitoes on Long Island. There was a fear that the mosquitoes might be carrying a disease that would infect the population so they were sprayed with Malathion a very toxic pesticide. It was a success and the mosquito population was wiped out. Shortly after they were sprayed the heavy rains from a hurricane brushed the coast, cleaning the land of all forms of pollution and washing it into the closest receiving body of water, Long Island Sound. It wasn't long after the heavy rains that millions of baby lobsters growing in Long Island Sound were found dead. As it turns out lobsters are structurally very similar to the mosquitoes, and to this day the lobstermen up and down the east coast blame the lobster die off on the pesticide Malathion. Many scientists say that the lobster die off was due to Climate Change, which was creating warmer water, and lower oxygen levels that tend to weaken and stress out the lobsters. The lobstermen remain united in blaming the pesticide. Just recently scientists are revisiting the Malathion toxicity to see if perhaps the lobstermen might be right and it did in fact add to the demise of a whole population of lobsters. The jury is still out and the pesticide is still widely used along the shoreline.

"Road Runoff" depicts non-point source pollution. The spray is the pesticide, carried off by the rain and running into the ocean water where baby lobsters begin life. Mosquitoes are in the middle of the spray.


#51: Adaptation

The all-American red breasted robin has for the first time ever been seen in the Arctic. Never before has this small bird flown north of the Boreal forests, its normal summer home. This summer individual robins have been spotted along the Utukok River, which is part of the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve. Climate change is heating up the planet and the natural balance of predator and prey is being thrown off kilter. If a species is to survive it must somehow adapt to the loss or change of habitat, its food sources and human encroachment. Birds have an advantage over species like turtles as they can fly away from a habitat in peril; 
if they are lucky, they will find another.

"Adaptation" is about two robins on a river in the tundra of the arctic.



A giant international grassroots movement took root on October 24, 2009 called People from 181 countries held up "350" signs, joining the movement to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Massive numbers (went to the website to sign up to be counted and included when names are taken to the World Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December to be shared with the world leaders. The world can tolerate 350 parts per million of CO2 in its atmosphere, before catastrophic things related to extreme weather conditions happens. We are currently at 387 ppm. Do I feel an urgency to spread the word? You bet!

"350" is hung at an angle to show the tipping point. The three sticks lashed together are smoke stacks with black wires representing smoke and CO2 emissions. The green wire and green gels represent the earth's atmosphere that is being pierced. The numbers 350 are at the bottom of the sticks.


#25 Climate Change

Fox News would have you believe that Al Gore and his global warming ideas are all wet. The far right has taken to building igloos in Washington to show the world that he is crazy. After all, they say, the eastern part of the country has been inundated with record breaking cold, snow, and rain. What does he know? Strip him of his Nobel Peace Prize! Here is what Al Gore knows along with thousands of the world's foremost scientists. The earth is warmer now by 1º Fahrenheit and in the last century there are more greenhouse gases, CO2 and others, in our atmosphere than any time in the past 650,000 years. Before the industrial revolution in the 1700's, there was a natural balance of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that were absolutely necessary for keeping the surface of the earth warm enough for habitation of all its species. Now with the excessive burning of fossil fuels, CO2 put into the atmosphere is up 31% over pre-industrial levels. With this increase of CO2 the earth's temperature will continue to rise, creating extreme weather patterns and catastrophic natural occurrences like fire, drought, and flooding.

"Climate Change" depicts the greenhouses gases heating up the atmosphere: that added temperature heats the oceans, causing water to evaporate and rise as vapor into the atmosphere where it is moved by the gulf stream and other air masses around the planet. What goes up must come down: 
depending on the time of year, the vapors convert back to either rain or snow and fall in great quantities to the earth.


#37 Baseball Size Hail

Climate change is defined by its extreme weather patterns. The deluge of rain exceeding 18" in some parts of the country has caused ruinous flooding to some of our most famous citis, Nashville and Oklahoma City to name a few. Mile-wide tornadoes and hail the size of baseballs have been pounding Oklahoma and Texas in recent days.

"Baseball Size Hail" is about extreme weather. The largest of the round hanging circles are the actual size of baseballs, just to give you 
a sense of how huge this hail actually was. A tornado and dark purple storm clouds are in the center.


Fire and Ice
# 30 Fire and Ice

Iceland sits on top of a series of volcanoes. Eyjafjallajökull is currently blowing its top for the first time since 1820. A much larger sister volcano named Lakla lies beneath the massive Myrdalsjokull ice cap, and it has a pattern of following suit. Lakla last exploded in the winter of 1918: its gases turned to smog which filled the jet stream in such quantity that weather patterns were changed, causing crop failures and famine in Europe. Scientists are keeping a close eye on Lakla, as her eruption would cause almost instant flooding and gases will explode into the atmosphere. Sounds a bit like Armageddon, doesn't it? Mother Nature is so much bigger than all of us and in spite of our grand egos; we are still and forever more at her mercy.

"Fire and Ice" is about the current eruption, seen as the red wires at the top of the stick. The white and blue gels are the ice cap and the fiery, bubbling Lakla is shown in red and yellow gels at the bottom. #49 Heat and Fire Mother Nature is turning up the temperature, and this summer has been plenty hot. Russia in general and Moscow in particular.


#49 Heat and Fire

Mother Nature is turning up the temperature, and this summer has been plenty hot. Russia in general and Moscow in particular have experienced record breaking heat with temperatures hovering around the 100º mark. The people of Moscow have been so hot they have been jumping into the plaza fountains fully clothed. Along with blistering temperatures have come extremely dry conditions; these have fed out of control fires that have burned villages right to the ground. Moscow is surrounded by fires, and the smoke has caused many people with respiratory conditions to retreat into their apartments to escape the thick polluted air. Unfortunately, there is no central cooling and for many the heat inside is worse than outside, driving them back out into the extreme conditions.

"Heat and Fire" displays a fountain with hot polluted water coming out of the top and then raining down on three people in the bottom tier. 
Fire is boxing everything in.



#12: Acidification

Acidification is the changing of the pH to a more acid chemistry, and it is happening in our oceans. A few years ago I heard a lecture on the amount of CO2 from emissions going into the atmosphere: at that point it was 700 billion tons a year. The oceans are the earth's natural sponges for CO2, and they were at the time absorbing 500 billion tons, leaving 200 billion floating up into the atmosphere. Since that lecture, the balance of our oceans is becoming gradually more acidic. Who cares? You might be thinking; but in truth it does ultimately affect all of us. This new chemistry balance affects any sea creature with a shell and includes the krill whose shells are not developing with the strength needed for the creatures to survive to adulthood. Krill are the main source of food for the whales and feed a multitude of other sea life as well. They are at the bottom of the food chain. The new chemistry is also affecting the coral reefs, weakening their structural integrity and ultimately will reduce them to slimy rubble. Right now they protect a huge number of landmasses from the harsh onslaught of the ocean's force and are the nursery habitats for baby sea life.

"Acidification" is about the dying coral reefs and the fish food chain ending with our fork.


#13 Melt Water

Glaciers are melting all over the planet. The melt water from Greenland and both poles are adding vast quantities of fresh water into the sea, changing the salinity and temperature of the sea water. This in turn affects the Gulf Stream by slowing its movement. Since the Gulf Stream affects weather patterns in the Atlantic, should it actually stop its circulation, extreme weather patterns would increase, and Europe would be thrown into an ice age.

"Melt Water" is about glaciers the color of the ice as it breaks off and "calves" into the sea. The darker green, horizontal section is 
the Gulf Stream, and the dark blue represents the constant dripping of melt water into the sea.


#15 High Water

It is the middle of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference with 197 countries represented. Three of us got together over the weekend to demonstrate for the global grass roots movement: the goal is to push our representatives in Denmark to make a commitment to reduce the global emissions and bring our planet back into a more sustainable balance. Now in the middle of the second week of meetings, it appears that business as usual is taking place: no agreement worth its salt will be reached. According to the vast majority within the scientific community, this may be our last chance to act. It is most depressing that climate change is literally last on the priority of concerns for Americans.

My piece for the week is about the rising water associated with the worldwide great melt. I found a piece of wood that looks like a rooftop. CO2 is floating outside the roof, and the green and blue gels represent the high water that is flooding the house. New Orleans comes to mind...


#16 Out of Reach

The ice is melting in the Arctic Ocean, and soon there will be nothing but open water during the summer months. This extraordinary phenomenon is happening at a much faster rate than scientists had predicted. The white arctic ice cap has always reflected the suns rays back into the atmosphere, allowing the temperatures to stay seasonably normal. Now with the open dark water, the heat from the sun is being absorbed by the sea, raising the temperature of the water and surrounding atmosphere. The polar bear has become a metaphor for the disruption of the natural balance in the Arctic. Their food of choice is the seal and they have relied for centuries on the ice flows to get out to their hunting grounds. Now with so little ice available for haul outs, they are forced to swim inordinate distances to find a meal. Aerial photos have shown the mighty bear swimming in the vast open ocean, no longer concerned about its hunger but instead frantic to find an ice flow to keep from drowning.

"Out of Reach" shows a wire polar bear holding onto a sliver of ice: the thin piece of driftwood in a vast sea of green and blue gels.


#28 Dead Zone

'Upwelling' is the combination of deep ocean currents and winds from the north working together to raise the oxygen depleted waters of the ocean floor to the surface for repl#28 Dead Zone

'Upwelling' is the combination of deep ocean currents and winds from the north working together to raise the oxygen depleted waters of the ocean floor to the surface for replenishment. 'Dead zones' are created when there is no added oxygen to the deep water or when there is a heavy die-off of nutrients that create bio mats which suffocate all life on the ocean floor. Either one or a combination of both creates areas where there is no life. Scientists have long been aware of dead zones, but what has recently alarmed them is the frequency with which they are occurring. Many believe that the heating up of the planet is warming surface waters: this warmer water acts as a cap holding down the oxygen-starved deeper water, not allowing it to the surface for the air exchange that it needs to sustain life. Recently, thousands of dead Dungeness crabs have been found littering the ocean floor off the northwestern coast of North America.

"Dead Zone" is about the threats of global warming to marine life. The darker blues and green gels at the base of the wood are the deep ocean currents moving towards the warmer green water or cap at the top of the piece. The light blue gels are the winds pushing the water. The circular black wire that surrounds the red wire crab represents the dead zone.


# 43 Halliburton Loophole

Halliburton Company invented 'hydraulic fracturing,' or 'fracking,' in wells to break up the rock formations in order to release the underground gas and oil pockets. Fracking was invented in the 1940's; since then, the gas and oil industries in the States have widely used this technique. The use of chemicals at super high pressure in the wells is particularly effective in releasing fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the chemicals used in this process are extremely toxic and have been known to escape into the groundwater, spill onto the land and pollute the air. Great reserves of natural gas have been found near or under groundwater and, in spite of the danger of spills, the drilling has been going on relentlessly in 34 states. It has recently come to light that this drilling practice is responsible for poisoning drinking water. During the formation of the Bush Energy Power Act, Dick Cheney secretly included the 'Halliburton Loophole' in order to protect the oil and gas industry from having to disclose the chemicals that they use in this fracking process. This loophole exempts the industry from any environmental over sight, allowing them to inject unchecked toxic chemicals into or near drinking water supplies.

"Halliburton Loophole" shows a Cheney mask, ground water, a hypodermic needle, gas bubbles and a red chemical spill.



May 2, 2010: The British Petroleum oil spill is releasing 210,000 gallons of crude oil a day and has reached the shores of Louisiana. This catastrophic spill is now larger than the state of Rhode Island and threatens the environment and economy of four of our gulf states for many months or perhaps years to come. The collapsed Deep Water Horizon Rig is owned by the British Petroleum Company which is now responsible for this terrible spill. The technology that made it possible to drill and extract oil from the ocean floor 5,000 feet below the surface was a feat worth celebrating. However, with the recent loss of eleven lives and the failed attempts to cap the wellhead has tempered the applause: it appears that we are now at the mercy of our advanced technology.

The wood in "Drill, Baby, Drill" reminded me of a heron with bowed head; the gels that circle him are the blues of the ocean currents 
and the browns and oranges of the oil spill.


#36 Runaway Technology

The four-story, 90-ton container dome that was supposed to fit nicely over the raging oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has failed. It seems that 5,000 feet down the temperatures are close to freezing and the variables are unknown. All the fail-safe procedures that were supposed to correct a catastrophic disaster scenario have failed. The BP folks are looking for any help they can get to stop the leak. Low-tech golf balls and pieces of tire stuffed in the broken pipe are now a top consideration. Meanwhile, over three million gallons of crude oil are blanketing the waters of the Gulf, with 210,000 more gallons added daily. It is coming ashore despite a Herculean effort on the part of the government and the local communities trying desperately to save their livelihoods.

"Runaway Technology" is about the oil leak in the deep blue water above the ground with a mask like face of Mother Earth below.


#41 Sushi

The western subspecies of the Atlantic Blue fin tuna migrates from its feeding grounds in the northern part of the east coast near Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn during the months of March and April. This 600 lb. behemoth is highly prized for its delicious meat and has been a staple in the sushi business for years. Our insatiable appetite has plunged this magnificent fish to the edge of extinction. The stock of tuna has been depleted 90% since the '70s, and the commercial tuna industry is on the verge of collapse. The Deepwater Horizon oil well disaster is very close to the Blue fin tuna's spawning ground in the Gulf, and the future of this species looks bleak, if not doomed.

The wires in this piece show the migration route of the tuna as they go up and down the east coast of North America. The mother tuna is made up of sushi photos and the larvae are reddish brown for the oil slick in the Gulf. There is a cluster of oil-covered eggs that are also made up of brown wires.


#46 Desalination

As the planet heats up vast areas are experiencing extended periods of drought, from changing weather patterns. This is particularly true of subtropical areas such as the Southwestern part of the US, Australia, Africa and Europe. No animal, plant, or human, can live without water and future wars could develop should populations feel threatened. Australia out of necessity, with a threatening extended drought, has been fine-tuning the technology behind desalination plants to rescue the land from a potentially disastrous situation. The process of reverse osmosis removes salt removed from seawater, which can then be used for farming and human consumption. To date desalination has been technically difficult and expensive, but necessity drives innovation, and man is in hot pursuit of a cheaper and technically simpler way to solve this problem.

"Desalination" shows the sea water being sucked into the bottom of the stick/pipe; it is then run through a valve at the top where the salt remains. Finally, the fresh water is spewed out over the parched land.


#47 Ice Melt

The jury is still out as to whether 2010 will rival 2007 for the greatest loss of Arctic sea ice in its recorded history. The temperature at the poles is already heating up at a greater rate than the rest of the planet. It has increased by 2.2º Fahrenheit. Unlike the white ice which naturally reflects the sun’s heat back up into the atmosphere, the dark Arctic Ocean absorbs the solar heat and raises the water temperature. There is an acceleration of melting sea ice, global weather fluctuations, and the heating of the surrounding land masses, which releases methane and CO2 into the atmosphere and further impacts global warming. The atmosphere, cloud impact, and recently the Arctic wind study are all contributors to the rapid loss of sea ice. Many naysayers are jumping on this newly released wind study to disprove that man is a contributor and harbors responsibility for the greenhouse effect on climate change.

"Sea Ice Melt" is about the heating up of the ocean, the melting of the ice, and the sweep of the wind.



#2 Greed

We are an amazingly consumptive nation, and it is clear that we have had an immense effect on the natural world. Vast tracks of rainforest have been destroyed for farmland to grow crops that ultimately get sold to the United States and other industrial countries. The consequences of clear cutting the forests not only destroys habitat for a multitude of creatures but also eliminates the consumption of CO2 by the trees releasing it instead into the atmosphere.

"Greed" shows a bloated Uncle Sam; his fat cheeks and pursed lips are ready to suck in more excess. The pieces of driftwood are positioned in such a way as to cry out: "Time Out!" and "Stop!!!


#10 Squeezed

Individual liberties and home rule are being squeezed by government control. This piece is specifically about the island of Martha's Vineyard and the compromise that is taking place with the wind turbines that will be placed around the island. All told there will probably be 130 turbines off the north shore and 160 off the south shore.

Each end of the drift wood in "Squeezed" has concentric circles that represent individual liberties and island autonomy. The feathered wings on both sides are the obstructed views, caused by the whirling blades, and the large wire turbine on the top is government imposed renewable energy.


#11 Bickering

This piece was created out of frustration for all the pettiness that takes place at the expense of the big picture. The tiny red and blue wires facing off represent the bickering that takes place between the Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives. Talk is endless and cheap; meanwhile, the blue and green gels are the huge waves all around the wooden land. As my sister is fond of saying, "Mother Nature bats last!"


#22 Fossil Fuel Boys

We are all getting fed up with the total inaction going on in Washington. Obstructionists have effectively paralyzed the legislative process. They offer very little while hiding behind their deceptive messages that drives fear in the populace. Many of our elected officials are controlled by the lobbying interests of the fossil fuel oil, gas, and coal boys. Both parties are vulnerable and their members can be bought.

"Fossil Fuel Boys" represents President Obama straddling both parties: Democrats on the left in blue and Republicans on the right in red. The black lines coming from the emissions and flames above are the Fossil Fuel Boys who have hooked folks on both sides of the aisle.


#27 Earth Hour

The World Wildlife Fund is celebrating its third annual 'Earth Hour.' This energy awareness campaign urges everyone to turn off all non-essential lighting and electronics for one hour on March 27, 2010 from 8:30 - 9:30 PM. This year, 80 countries and 800 cities are participating. It is the largest planetary event in our history. Please visit:

This piece is about Earth Hour. The photo cut in two is a NASA shot of the earth at night. I divided it into the northern and southern hemispheres. Our country has 4% of the earth's population and contributes 25% of all the energy emissions. It is kind of shocking to see the difference, and worth googling the real 'Earth at Night' photo. I put a wire compact florescent light in the middle as a small token of what we can do to conserve energy.


#32 Tailpipe Law
Back during the reign of President George W, the Clean Air Act was being challenged as it is now. Recently a judge ruled that CO2 emissions could impact human health and that industry needed to reduce its emissions and comply with safer standards. Bush ignored the findings. Now as of April of 2010, the Department of Transportation and the EPA bypassed the ongoing legislative fight on the Energy Bill and set in place a new standard to cut emissions. It is the first time that the Clean Air Act has been applied to CO2 and other global warming pollutants. All new passenger cars and light trucks made from 2012-2016 will be required to meet emission standards of 250 grams of CO2 per mile or the equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon. These new standards will cut emission of CO2 by 30% or 960 million tons a year.

"Tailpipe Law" is about the harmful emissions from tailpipes. The blue gels inside the orange are meant to show the reduction of emissions.


#38 Back Scratching Tango

The Mineral Management Service is part of the U. S. Interior Department: it grants permits and regulates drilling projects for the oil and gas industries. For many years, the MMS has turned a blind eye to the oil and gas giants when it comes to safety, clean up scenarios, and environmental concerns, in exchange for a variety of favors. Some inspection reports were even written by the oil companies themselves, in pencil, to be traced over later in pen by the MMS staff. BP's offshore, deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been treated with the same nonchalance. BP employees maintained that there would be no problem tapping the well, 5000 feet below the surface on the ocean floor, should an accident occur. The Mineral Management Service granted the permits to drill without question. And, as they say, the rest is history.

"The Back Scratching Tango" shows a harmonious dance of self-serving greed.


#40 Blowing Smoke

Last week, President Obama attempted to persuade congress to pass the Clean Energy Bill. The House version of the bill has been languishing in the Senate for months now: it has little support from Republicans and has been met with skepticism from some Democrats. Hoping to capitalize on the horrors of BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster, President Obama is once again promoting the need for clean renewable energy and an end to our fossil fuel dependence. His suggested bill contains a positive measure: the rollback of huge tax breaks to oil giants like BP, Mobile and Exxon. Obama argues that this would free up billions of dollars to use for renewable energy incentives and general taxpayer relief. Bill McKibben founder of spoke on NPR this weekend and pointed out that what is happening in the gulf is not the only place where danger lurks. Our atmosphere's growing saturation with CO2 and other greenhouse gases is altering our climate and increasing the temperature of the planet. McKibbin argues that the consequences of this planetary imbalance will be even more catastrophic than what is happening in the gulf. We cannot dismiss this truth and give in to the junk science skeptics that speak with loud voices. We must act now to curb our consumptive habits in order to slow the imbalance happening on a global scale. Change will only happen if the masses mobilize in protest. We must act now.


#42 Hubris

CEO's of the five major oil company met with a congressional committee to be questioned about their recovery strategies should an accident occur in deep water drilling. All of them, including BP, presented virtually identical written bogus reports that not only fabricated the success of unproven technology to cap blown wells in deep water, but also played down the effects of spills on the environment for animals in the region. They all featured the Walrus as one of the Gulf of Mexico mammals that could be impacted. What is curious is that the Walrus doesn't live anywhere near the warm waters of the Gulf, but instead as any school child can tell you, resides in the frigid waters of the Arctic. Almost worse than the recklessness of the oil companies is the blatant favoritism offered so willingly by the Mineral Management Services, our government's watch dog agency. The inspectors and regulators have happily fed their greedy appetites with extravagant gifts from the oil giants, in exchange for signing off on safety and proven technologies. And don't forget all of us, the thirsty consumers, who get outraged if the price of gasoline goes up, and our life styles are altered. We would all prefer to embrace complacency than sacrifice and make our voices heard.

‘Hubris’ features a walrus covered in a bit of oil in the warm waters of the Gulf.


#52 Apathy

The multiple facets of climate change are complex and confusing. Many find the issues too big and boring. It is not that these people are not somewhat informed, because for the most part they are; it is just that it is easier to ignore the subject and go about your business. Action only happens when one's pocketbook, property, or family are impacted. The highly vocal voices of the naysayers and Fox News help just enough to remove all responsibility and involvement in trying to change the state of the planet. Arguments become particularly strong when one considers that these extreme conditions have been repeated often over the millennia. The rationale often given is, we didn’t create the problem so why should we be expected to do anything about it? When pressed about the greenhouse emissions created by our huge hunger for oil, there is some mention of conservation. The good news is that most people are law-abiding and would willingly conserve energy if the state and federal governments mandated legislation that dictated that kind of behavior change. It is time to push our legislators to act on the globe's behalf. ‘Indifference’ shows one part of the person buried in the sand with the light switch OFF, showing a blatant disregard for energy waste as seen in the yellow discs. After ravaging fire and a gavel on the head mandate a new energy policy, the upper head's switch is ON and the black and yellow discs show the change.


#45 Biodiversity

South Africa is now hosting the World Cup, so I decided to focus on the Rooibos bush, which has the distinctive feature of only existing in one place on the planet, the western cape of South Africa. This fragile plant has adapted beautifully to the seasonal harsh conditions of this Cedar tree region. The Rooibos flowers make a highly prized red tea, and local farmers consider it a very valuable cash crop. There is added value to the tea if the farmers don’t use pesticides and get biodiversity certification and only use nature’s creatures to control the health of their bushes. The Rooibos has a problem with a small moth that lays eggs in the stem of its flower. The egg hatches into a grub that munches its way through the stems and eventually kills the bush. Rather than use pesticides the farmers have found a novel way of solving the problem. Their farmlands are open and fence free, allowing baboons, native to the area, easy access to the plants. They love grubs and comb their way through the bushes in search of these nutritious sources of protein. The plants are saved, the farmers make money selling their popular tea and the baboons are revered and considered heroes by all the villagers.


#29 Can Do's

Insulating your house can help enormously in reducing your energy consumption. We live in a relatively old house that was drafty enough to flutter the curtains. A few years back we were encouraged to get a free energy audit to give us recommendations for improving our and then follow their recommendations. To our surprise we discovered that our walls had no insulation at all. State subsidies paid for half of the cost and allowed us to insulate the house and vent the attic, greatly tightening the place up. Now thanks to the Stimulus Bill there is also federal money available for making your home energy efficient and giving tax credits for doing so. Hope you all take advantage of the money that is now available for home improvements.

"Can Do's" is about insulating your house. The open window looks out on the tree and is surrounded by blue and orange insulating gels.


Second Year work goes here

Insulating your house can help enormously in reducing your energy consumption. We live in a relatively old house that was drafty enough to flutter the curtains. A few years back we were encouraged to get a free energy audit to give us recommendations for improving our and then follow their recommendations. To our surprise we discovered that our walls had no insulation at all. State subsidies paid for half of the cost and allowed us to insulate the house and vent the attic, greatly tightening the place up. Now thanks to the Stimulus Bill there is also federal money available for making your home energy efficient and giving tax credits for doing so. Hope you all take advantage of the money that is now available for home improvements.

"Can Do's" is about insulating your house. The open window looks out on the tree and is surrounded by blue and orange insulating gels.


Video Link
"Nature's Spin Through Art"


driftwood, driftnet, screen, wire and pie plate.

As the story goes a whale was hopelessly caught in a drift net. Four divers were called and approached the whale in the water. One spent a considerable amount of time cutting the netting off from around the whale’s eye, all the time being watched by the trapped creature. Finally free the whale disappeared below the surface, the divers relieved by their success started swimming back to their boat. Suddenly they heard a huge splash as the whale breached then swam at full speed towards them. The men knowing they couldn’t out swim the whale turned to face their fate. Just as they thought they were going to be crushed the whale pulled up short of the men and gently approached the diver who had been working to free him around his eye. Using the tip of his nose he gently nudged the diver in the chest, and then approached the other three men in the same way. After which he turned on his side and sank into the deep.



driftwood, wire, metal, paint

In the past year the human population on Planet Earth passed the 7 billion mark. We are most everywhere like locus depleting our natural resources at an alarming rate. Now couple that with global warming which is heating up the planet, causing extreme weather as well as drought and massive fires and you have what some might call a big problem! Nature has a way of eradicating excess in any one of her multitude of species and we humans may be next. ‘Us’ is about humans crowding out other species and yet sharing in the excess heat coming from the sun and fires.


‘Monarch Butterflies’

driftwood, metal, paper, wire, paint

Perhaps one of the most magical events in nature is the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to a butterfly. The Monarch butterfly is even more amazing in that it annually migrates from the northern part of the U.S. thousands of miles south to it’s winter home in either Mexico or southern California. Miraculously, though it takes 4 generations, the genetically coded offspring eventually return after one year to the original location where it’s great-great-great grandparent was born! Slowly but surely like so many other species their habit is being threatened by our encroachment.


‘Santo’s Folly’

wood, wire, metal, paint

Genetically modified foods are now very popular in the U.S. Unfortunately these manipulated vegetables potentially can cause havoc with the natural crops by weakening natural strains, introducing diseases and illness through their consumption. Europe recognizes the dangers involved and have banned GMO crops from their shores. The Monsanto Co. one of the biggest biotech seed altering producers, is a very powerful lobbying source and has the White house’s ear.



wood, wire, paper paint, cheese cloth

‘Colony Collapse Syndrome’ has reduced the bee population in this country by 80%. Without the bees many of our food sources would no longer exist, since they depend on cross pollination by the bees to produce fruit. We need the bees and they have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Recently scientists have determined that a particular pesticide may be responsible for the bee losses. Europe has banned the use of that pesticide on their crops and the bee population seems to be coming back.



driftwood, screen, mix media for krill, paint, wire

The oceans naturally absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Unfortunately recently the chemical balance has become more acidic as the saturation of CO2 has increased. The effect is weakening and in fact destroying the development of the shells of shellfish, resulting in the early mortality of the juveniles. In addition the coral reefs worldwide are disindigrating and dying which has a direct effect on the habitats of baby fin and shellfish. Three krill, the bottom of the food chain, whose shells are in various stages of disintegration, are featured in this piece under the sweeping sheets of CO2.


‘Down Stream’

Pharmaceuticals are flushed daily down toilets carried in our urine. The hormones get into the ground water and eventually affect the aquatic creatures in the rivers and streams. Recently fish have been discovered having both male and female sexual organs, and frogs with extra extremities.