As a landscape architect and environmental artist, I have been deeply concerned for decades about climate change and how it will affect generations to come. During the Covid-19’s period of semi-isolation, I channeled my new found time to the evolution of this book as an outlet for my angst. When the Covid-19 virus turned the world upside down into a surreal unnatural experience for all of us globally, it’s parallel with a future of unaddressed climate change became apparent to me. I expressed my feelings through art.
Using my landscape photos from years of travel, I created surreal compositions of animals displaced in odd places, I distorted, erased, painted over, and combined image pieces to get the effect I wanted. I felt as helpless, powerless, and displaced as I tried to make these animals appear in their new surroundings. A children’s book emerged.
What would happen to animals around the earth when climate change threatens the habitat that they know and depend on? Displaced is a story about chaos that might ensue if climate change is not addressed. Fourteen animals around the world are on a journey for survival when they are displaced to bizarre new habitats. Based in science, the book provides young readers a antastical interpretation of climate change and the risks that global animals and humans would face in an imagined future.
As I labored on this book, the wildfires in California were raging very close by and toxic smoke filled the air making it unhealthy to be outdoors for five very long weeks. Inhaling the smoky air even inside our home was a constant reminder of the urgency of climate change action and at the same time, it kept me a prisoner indoors focusing on completing this book. I am sure DISPLACED was influenced by all of the swirling current events of the summer and fall of 2020. Although I will never know the long term outcome of our climate change story, I do hope this book helps to make even a small positive difference in what the world will be like in 2120. It’s up to you to become informed and do the same.