The Grieving ~ drypoint ~ 2 7/8" h. x 4 1/2" w.
I have made many images, in sculpture and in print, of sorrow. I guess this is another one. Why so many? To answer as simply as I can...It is my way of mourning what is happening in the world. There is so much to mourn...the corporate takedown of this and other nation's democracies, endless corporate/State wars fought for resources and control, and the vast environmental devastation that is unravelling the Web of Life on this planet.. Unless one has their head in the sand, or has completely desensitized oneself, it can feel overwhelming. I make these images to express my grief.
And speaking of grief, these beautiful animals in the photo above are North Atlantic right whales, and I am filled with sadness (and a lot of anger!) over what is happening to them.They are critically endangered, with a population that now numbers only a little over 400. This population is in serious decline, as they are being routinely killed off....struck by ships or entangled in fishing gear. Just in this past month of June, 6 of these whales were found dead! Scientists were saying even before this disastrous month that if things keep on going as they are, if we humans don't make the changes necessary to seriously reduce human-caused deaths and injuries, then this whale will likely be functionally extinct within 20 years!
This right whale had fishing trap rope around both flippers, through its mouth, and dragging behind it. It died a month after the photo was taken. Photo Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
This right whale, who is floating on her back, dead, was known as Starboard. She died from entanglement in fishing gear, which you can clearly see wrapped around her flippers and body. Photo Credit: NOAA/NEFSC/ Peter Duley
In this photo, you can see how the rope which entangled this right whale, known to researchers as Bridle, has cut deeply into his upper jaw (rostrum). Whales sometimes drown soon after becoming entangled. The ones who don't will often remain entangled for months or years leading to painful infections and other injuries, as well as an impaired ability to reproduce, an extremely serious thing in a species as imperiled as the right whale. Some entanglements will make feeding difficult.... or impossible, leading to emaciation and eventual starvation. What a horribly sad fate... Photo Credit: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Here is a screenshot of the headline from an article that appeared in the Bangor Daily News last Thursday. Maine's congressional delegation once again attempting to block measures that would protect right whales from being entangled in lobster fishing gear. The delegation all claim to be concerned for these whales, but their actions make it very clear that this concern is extremely shallow, at best.
And here is a screenshot of a headline from last Friday's Bangor Daily. Maine's Governor Janet Mills obviously shares, along with the congressional delegation, a lack of any real concern for the survival of this critically endangered species. Apparently, the profits of the lobster industry are far more important than right whales....What a sad world.
North Atlantic Right Whale ~ The End of the Line? - engraving - 4" h. x 9 3/4" w.
Above is an older engraving I did on this subject. Seems like an appropriate way to end this post.