Artist Statement

what’s in our blue world
plastic straws and plastic caps
and the fish we eat

Love man and bird and beast.1 Coleridge’s 1798 Rime of the Ancient Mariner keeps cadence and finds relevance with us today. Do we hold on to the lesson of the albatross or do we kill the albatross by over-consuming and polluting our natural world, only later to regret the irreversible negative impacts we’ve manufactured ourselves?

Is humanity and harmony with the natural world to be lost to the myth of progress? Is convenience more important than our earth? Do we disregard the warnings - predicted by science and felt in our guts? Do we really need more? Faster? Do we ignore our kinship with nature? Do we value biodiversity only if it we can see it or if it doesn’t slow us down?

The world is already scrambling to feed itself while adapting to climate change. Overfishing and pollution of our natural lands continues. Nowhere is this tension more pronounced than in Alaska. Alaska is on the front lines, and the actions taken here to balance Alaska’s wild places with economic growth and traditional livelihoods may prove a model for the United States and the world over.

My submission invokes a strong feeling- a warning that incites a commitment to preserve and protect our world. I am inspired by many individuals and groups that, through art, science, policy and action are working toward conscientious stewardship. We must each be responsible to our environment and seek ways to consume with less impact on the land and water that sustains us; and, we must collaborate across all sectors to ensure protection of our very sustenance.

1 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. London: Arcturus Publishing Limited, 2008. Page 90. print.

Paula Voss's Submissions