National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas, April 16 – August 16, 2020
Has the Age of the Human begun? You know, the Anthropocene; that geological epoch where humankind have irrevocably altered the environment and its ecosystems beyond repair triggering an uncertain future for our coral reefs, our rivers and lands, and beginning mass extinction of biodiversity? Have we polluted our land and waters, stripped them of their resources, altered their habitats to such a degree that we are now at the tipping point? Our global reproduction rate continues to exponentially expand whilst the earth’s resources to sustain it diminishes. As a direct result of the effects of global warming we have too much water in places and not enough in others. Drought, flooding, dissipating aquifers, sea level rise and extreme swings in temperatures and weather are now normal. All the while our relatively new microchip society relies more and more on new precious resources like lithium which has to be extracted, forging new opportunities or risks for countries who cling onto it.
“Inherit the Earth” proposes to delineate some of the time sensitive reactions which we are experiencing today whilst highlighting the urgency of the matter through the frozen stills of these moments on oil painted canvases. If memory were the vehicle for these episodes, then they would certainly be recent or maybe even current.
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The Current: Baha Mar Gallery and Art Center, Scope Art Show, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida
December 3 – 8, 2019
Lynn Parotti is preoccupied with the environment in all its multifaceted connotations. She has a consuming passion for the natural landscape of the Bahamas where she was born, particularly the intoxicating world of the ocean. But she is equally concerned with the social geography of place; the human experience and relationship to these locations, the historical traces, the economic and environmental impact and consequences. Her sensuous revelling in the beauty of nature is increasingly counter-balanced by a politicised awareness of its imperilled state due to climate change and the attendant crises of rising sea levels, the depletion of natural resources, the consequences of coral bleaching, the availability of clean water. She also references the human toll through allusions to migration, coastal communities, subsistence fishing and poverty.
People who live between two homes often possess a heightened awareness of the intricacies of those spaces they leave and return to. While based in London, Parotti is particularly attuned to the vulnerability of small island developing states. Her restless landscapes speak to the sublime beauty and eroding forces of nature but also their precarious condition. The push and pull of oil paint, its malleable and viscous potential and heightened colour, conveys an energy which is both sensuous and unsettling, a duality which references the uncertain condition of our contemporary existence in this world, but also the potential for renewal.
Coral reefs, an important focus in much of Parotti’s recent paintings, are home to the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet. This is turn sustains a sea life upon which more than 500 million people depend for survival, most of these in poor countries. With global warming and climate change, reefs have suffered coral bleaching and are at risk of extinction. The title of this exhibition, 2 Degrees C refers to the imperative to limit global average temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if the coral reefs are to survive.
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The Island House, Nassau, Bahamas, October 9 – 11, 2019
An adaptation of a line from the Bahamian national anthem, To The Rising Sun, Bahamaland, focuses on the state of reef health and the role of the mangrove as protector of coastline and nursery to breeding marine species. Or does it cynically bear witness to our risen temperatures and the current climate crisis in our manmade Anthropocene?
The historical objectification of coral and the wonderment of under the sea is replaced by a full embrace of the reality with which the island nation is faced as the tension in these canvases relay a fracturing beauty: the northern islands having just experienced the devastation of a category 5 hurricane called Dorian. And all this is taking place in the here and now; albeit sooner than speculated.
Time sensitive imagery of aerial views of reefs dancing under the sun’s rhythm relate a tale of disrespect, conquest and shame. We have done this. Our momento will become that of a former observation of the vibrancy, differentiation and spectacle of nature from which we disassociated ourselves and pillaged.
In truth, we are as much of an accessory of the coral reef as the once teeming fish were; for on it and on them, we depend. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “Approximately three billion people in the world rely on both wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein.” Further, ten percent of the world’s population depends on fisheries for their livelihoods.
In the paintings amorphous entities float freely within a disguised pool resembling Frutti di Mare: whilst, we wait, and scramble for solutions as our natural indemnity fails.
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