Jill Letten

Climate change has presented humanity with the most profound and urgent challenge ever faced. Reflecting upon my understanding of rising environmental concerns, I use my practice to combine art with research to address how we interact and perceive the natural world.
Using SketchUp and Photoshop, I collage together texturally contrasting imagery to create surreal environmental spaces that I translate into medium-scale acrylic paintings. I construct scenes from photographs collected from North American library digital archives, particularly using images from the 1950s to comment on the lasting effects of the second and third Industrial Revolution which introduced automated mass-production powered by problematic energy sources such as gas and oil. The 50s being a period of modern economic growth, significantly contributed to how our global society has socially and systematically embraced exploitative human activities that have dominated the natural environment through capitalistic values. I view this imagery from a time of ignorance and naivety regarding human-induced climate change and consider it through present socio-political and economic contexts. Our modern societies have adapted to lifestyles that take and dispose of the natural environment, and with factual information intertwining with bombardments of fake news, properly addressing climate change has become a complicated battle.
These pieces feature a digitally rendered dollhouse that plays upon its function to be manipulated and deconstructed, connecting to the intensifying natural disasters that have devastated houses and lives. The dollhouse, symbolic of the home, hovers above a distorted and abstracted water texture with saturated and inorganic colours, visualizing the toxicity of what we put into our environment.
In my art, I work to find a balance between visualizing chaos and the tranquility of naivety of those who are withdrawn by their busy consumerist lifestyles. Absorbed by material goods or media that leaves many idly unaware as our world progressively deteriorates.

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