November 6, 2007

Isabella Kirkland's species studies

According to the NYTimes science blog Dot Earth, blogger Andrew C. Revkin examines efforts to balance human affairs with the planet’s limits. Supported in part by a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, Mr. Revkin tracks news from suburbia to Siberia, and conducts an interactive exploration of trends and ideas with readers and experts. In a recent post, Revkin examines Isabella Kirkland's Taxa series. "Isabella Kirkland, from Sausalito, Calif., has created a remarkable series of 3-by-4-foot canvases, called Taxa, on the history and future of biology. The six paintings, each of which took about a year to create, memorialize species that have vanished from the planet during the ascent of humans; those that are finding new niches as humans spread plants and animals around the globe; those collected or harvested illegally or too aggressively; American species in decline; and — most hopefully — animals and plants that were thought to be extinct, or on the brink of vanishing, but have come back. They are done in a style that might best be described as a mix of Dutch Master and 'Where’s Waldo?' They are full of hidden things worth looking for." Visit Ms. Kirkland’s website, where you can zoom into the canvases to look at individual species, with a detailed key alongside. She is represented by Feature, Inc. in New York.

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