THINKING OF YOU
A bouquet of colorful mylar balloons works as the visual center point of this work. They are printed with the type of phrases we say when someone we care about is sick and we don’t really know what to say. For example, “Get Well Soon”/“I’m Sorry”/ “Good Luck.”
Traveling around America, I stand in public areas near a natural feature such as a beach, river walk, park, or farmer’s market. I ask people walking by if they would like to pose with the “Thinking of You” balloon and think of the “you” as being climate change. I photograph them and ask them to write down their main concern. The responses range from specific markers such as “Polar Bears,” “Rising Water Lines,” and “Disappearing Rain Forests” to warnings including “Take Action Now,” “The Next Generation,” and “Nothing Is More Important.” All of the portraits are captioned with the participants’ opinions. All of the portraits are included in an online gallery. It’s important to me that I honor every participant by displaying their work. The images are grouped together by the area of the country they were photographed: West Coast, Midwest, Mid Atlantic, Northeast.
This artwork is motivated by my curiosity about what my fellow humans are thinking and whether I could design a piece that would allow them to fully and freely express themselves. My opinions are not interjected into this work. I must remain completely neutral so that the participants feel comfortable expressing their feelings, whether they are concerned about climate change or not. That participants gladly offered their dismissive views marks a successful work for me. And I was amazed by the high percentage of 50-90% participation by people who just happened to be walking by.