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Canaries in the Coal Mine

By handlerstudio  
The Maldives Table is one of a series of pieces I have been working on about climate change. The top of this table is coconut palm plywood. The coconut palm is the national tree of the Maldives. The carving is a representation of the principal islands of the Maldives chain. The legs are the colors of the Maldives flag. The shape of the table, of course is a boat. And the Maldives is the first, or one of the first, countries that will fall under the ocean as sea levels rise.

The second piece is The Coral Reef Table, about bleached and dying coral reefs. This one was a collaboration with my wife, Karen, who is a ceramist who works with tile. She built the coral reef, mostly live, and partly dead. The body is coopered Bamboo plywood, and the base is anodized aluminum.

The third piece is the Golden Toad Reliquary. The golden toad of Costa Rica is the poster child for climate change caused extinction. They lived under trees in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, and would come out and mate like crazy, and the eggs would go into small ponds where they would hatch and grow before the ponds dried out. One year, a climate change forced El Nino made the rainy season early, and when the toads came ponds. One year 22,000 of these little suckers, the next year, one. So this piece is about the Sixth Great Extinction, which is in progress and partly caused by climate change. Spanish Cedar, clay imagery also by Karen, and aluminum and glass

The fourth is the Arctic Ice Reliquary, of turned Sitka Spruce, carved and painted wood (by my studio assistant Casey Gleason), aluminum and glass. I think no explanation needed on this one.

The next piece, in progress, is about forest fires.

Tags: Photo journalism Climate change Canaries in the Coal Mine Craft art

Voters: S_Psharma, Bantu, Potra and 13 more

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S_Psharma 5 1 India
31 Oct 2013 3:35AM
Every image is a beauty

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Potra 5 Venezuela
31 Oct 2013 3:51AM
Oh I loved the piece on V5. Your work is rare, colorful, thoughtful, with concept.
Not anything you see around, you must have a very particular clientele.
Love your concern about this one and only Earth we have.
ColleenA Plus
5 367 6 Australia
31 Oct 2013 4:47AM
What beautiful pieces you have created, and with so much thought about earths environment.....well done
Mollycat Plus
4 11 2 United Kingdom
31 Oct 2013 7:10AM
Wonderful imaginative work with a great narrative. Coming from a mining family the title is very apt. Peter.
ukgubbi 6 5 India
31 Oct 2013 10:59AM
Thanks for this lovely information and sharing such beautiful images. I had not seen anything like this before.
achieverswales 7 8 101 Wales
31 Oct 2013 11:08AM
All stunning and can see you are as worried as I am for our children and grandchildren and all creatures, the future looks bleak for them, you do make very beautiful works of art Peter and I love every piece I have seen.


taggart Plus
13 47 13 United States
31 Oct 2013 12:33PM
Trevor has said it so well, These are beautiful pieces-- poignant reminders of what is to come!
When discussion comes up about why do this work, as a climate change activist, Trev's comment comes to the fore for me. What I think about is what kind of world we are bequeathing to our unborn and unimagined grandchildren. And then the corollary, if we keep doing business as ususal, that is, burning fossil fuels till they run out, we pass tipping points. And I imagine people at the end of this century looking back at us, in the early years of the 21st, and they wonder, what the .......were they thinking? They could have made a difference. And if we do act as we need to, they might look back and say, thank goodnes that they did the right thing.

31 Oct 2013 2:34PM
Wonderful work Peter. great information..Lin
31 Oct 2013 5:31PM
All pieces are really beautiful. Great work and information
dudler Plus
14 706 1351 England
31 Oct 2013 8:28PM
Beautiful - and it is so sad that this subject exists.

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