“Month Five” by Sally Linder, 30″ x 52″ Oil, Ink, Tar on Drafting Film, 2012
Approaching a Threshold
“The polar bear may be just the canary in the coal mine… If we can save the polar bears, we will ultimately save ourselves.” – Theodore Roosevelt IV
The Arctic spreads out from the top of Earth, a grand checkered tablecloth upon which the cosmos feasts. It is a landscape shockingly pristine; its noble inhabitants of land, ice and sea, diplomats of a place worth saving. Henry D. Thoreau got it right when he wrote: “in wildness is the preservation of the world.”
Humankind straddles a threshold. The Arctic is rapidly unraveling: white ice to black water. As oil, gas, and coal extraction and exploration mounts a feeding frenzy, I wonder if in my lifetime I will witness the extinction of Arctic life incarnate, the polar bear. I spend my days painting the bears, humbly joining my soul with theirs, in belief of the Inuit legend of interspecies soul exchange.
These paintings arise from sketches done over the last six years in the high Arctic of Svalbard, Greenland, Alaska and Nunavut.
“Life wants to live. Life so completely wants to live… and to the degree that we consider ourselves among and allied with the living, our task is clear: to help life live.” – Derrick Jensen