Waiting for the Peripeteia

Eileen Roscina Richardson is a Denver-based artist and RedLine volunteer whose work focuses on environmental issues. In her own words, she seeks to “challenge the disconnection of our society from the land, and propose the path of progress as being behind us; reverting to a simpler way of life to move forward, going back to our roots, our land, our ancestors and family to answer challenging questions. And pose new ones.”

Here, Eileen presents her most recent artistic exploration of these themes.

peripeteia noun peri·pe·teia \ˌper-ə-pə-ˈtē-ə, -ˈtī-\

1. a sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances in our planet’s story

2. a quick fix, a shift in energy

In physics, the law of energy conservation states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant, meaning it is conserved over time. Energy is neither created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. The rugged individualism of our culture has cost our environment greatly over time; is it possible to shift our energy away from the self to the whole?

We travelers, walking to the sun, can’t see

Ahead, but looking back the very light

That blinded us shows us the way we came,

Along which blessings now appear, risen

As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,

By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward

The blessed light that yet to us is dark.

-Wendell Berry

 

  Macro: Earth & Sun (e. roscina, 2016, burnt paper)

Macro: Earth & Sun (e. roscina, 2016, burnt paper)

Energy Transfer: Sun Begets Life

1,300,000 earths would fit inside our sun. One way forward is best illuminated by looking behind us. How can we live more simply and use the resources around us more mindfully? How can we maintain hope and keep working when the forecast is indeed quite dark?

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Sound is sea: pattern lapping pattern

-Ronald Johnson

  New Coast (e. roscina, 2016, burnt paper)

New Coast (e. roscina, 2016, burnt paper)

Energy Transfer: Scales Tilt to a New Normal

This is what the coast of the North American Continent would look like if the polar ice caps melted. The entire Atlantic seaboard, the Gulf Coast and the entire state of Florida would be underwater. San Francisco's hills would become a series of islands in a bay that would fill the Central Valley. Repeated patterns have an impact. Is this when our ambivalence will end?

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I want to tell what the forests were like

I will have to speak in a forgotten language

-W.S. Merwin

  Micro: A cross section of Sclerotium x 1000 (e. roscina, 2016, burnt paper)

Micro: A cross section of Sclerotium x 1000 (e. roscina, 2016, burnt paper)

Energy transfer: Survival

After a forest fire, mycelium (fungus) remain alive in the ground. Sclerotium are fungi food reserves that can remain dormant until favorable conditions return. The main role of Sclerotiumn is to survive environmental extremes. Where can we cut back and ration in our own lives before we reach the extreme? What are our reserves if the peripeteia we are waiting for and working towards doesn’t come?

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“The green world is very mysterious. It’s absolutely

fascinating, and without it we wouldn’t exist.

People talk about the environment as though it

were something you could be interested in,

like having a stamp collection or something.

It’s not so.

If there’s no environment, there’s no us.”

-WS Merwin