Artist Statement about Light Trespass
Recently, I have been researching the effects of artificial light on our environment, from migration disruption, to sleep deprivation. This notion that light is “good “ is a defining theme in our culture running unbridled throughout our landscapes. Yet all of this light is consuming our energy and disrupting our bodies, like the way blue light inhibits the production of melatonin. There is also a heavy impact on the environment as pollinating insects can’t fulfill their nightly duties, nocturnal animals scurry out from their homes exposed, and migrating birds fatally crash into buildings, just to name a few of these issues.
I myself live in a very urban setting with tons of street lights glaring, not just on the street below, but all around, in people’s windows, and up into the night sky. My neighbors have motion censored spot lights in their back yards to scare off any criminals that might be lurking. And I myself sleep with a sleep mask to keep the light from an endless stream of emergency vehicles from disturbing my sleep. And then I wondered. Will our nights eventually look like our days? Will the sunlight that touches our natural and unnatural environments no longer be contrasted by the dark? Will we continue to fight those scary things that lurk in the night with more and more artificial light until we banish the dark completely?
And so this most recent body of work has stemmed from this notion, not of light and dark, but of light and more light. As a dog owner, I walk my neighborhood several times per day, and while out, I have been picking pieces of the urban flora from my neighbors yards. When I began this body of work, I gave myself a couple constraints. One is that the urban flora is cast in sterling silver and somehow manipulated after casting. The other is that the gold components are fabricated and imposed into the silver for a clean, almost manufactured effect. I used 14k yellow gold (instead of a high karat gold) to keep the contrast with the silver low. I wanted it to follow this concept that, someday, our nights will be so lacking in contrast that we might not be able to see the difference between midday and midnight.