SOS Save our Seas
Mixed-Media Artwork by Lori A. McPherson
Reception: Sat, Mar 4, 4pm
I approach my artwork from two perspectives, one from a fascination with the beauty of underwater life, and one in regard to the issues of destruction caused by ocean exploitation in the form of pollution, over-fishing, and devastating fishing practices. By visually interpreting some of the internal environments of the ocean, I connect the the external world through the action of creating art and generating visual images symbolic of life in the ocean. My struggle is that these two perspectives, beauty and destruction, have become murky like polluted water, becoming compromised and hybridized. At times I lose my clarity of distinguishing between nature and man’s refuse. It all seems to merge into a form of polluted beauty.
The ocean ebbs and flows with compelling life forms and man-made debris that simultaneously create destruction and sustaining qualities. I am conflicted in my discernment between the pollution that repels me and the pleasing aesthetic transformation that happens to some debris in the ocean. It is disturbing and regrettable that our vision of the ocean must now factor in human’s effect on the oceans—our intentions, our needs, and our waste. It is impossible for people to continue believing that the ocean's power of retraction can digest all this garbage and abuse.
By exploiting the ocean, we leave behind an altered view of our beaches and oceans. Will it permanently take the place of the original? Is the natural, pristine beach of my childhood gone forever? Has the displacement of garbage become the new polluted beauty of the ocean? Most importantly, are we going to accept this? It is to these questions and ideas that I direct my work. The collection of objects in this installation are generated from this duality of the natural and polluted beauty of our oceans.
The ocean was my childhood companion, providing an endless source of mysterious investigation on the beach and through the cloudy lenses of my fathers old snorkeling mask. The waters of the New England Sound provided an underwater easel of constant change. I became a contentious and observant young artist. I grew to adulthood in Connecticut, leaving in 1997 for an art scholarship at the University of Denver. My creative nature was completely enchanted with the wildness and color unique to the West and I forgot my ocean for a little while. My artwork reflected a desert palette and I obsessed with the abstract form of the horse. After a BFA in Sculpture, I turned my attention to a Master’s degree in Art Education and taught high school art for a few years in Kansas, Colorado, and Utah. Feeling complacent in 2011, I embarked on a journey to reach my ultimate goal, a Masters of Fine Art and a university teaching position. My MFA experience at Idaho State University provided me with the time and support for my artwork to come full circle and back to the ocean. My current work is fueled by ocean conservation and all the perils of the vast world of marine creatures. Upon graduation, I accepted a Visiting Assistant Professorship at Weber State in Utah and fully enjoyed my experience there, especially the students. I currently divide my time between Logan, Utah, and Inkom, Idaho creating art.
Location: Main Library, Gallery at Library Square
Contact Information: 801-524-8200