We are no longer a small world in a big planet, we are now a big world in a small saturated planet.
Areang 1Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, Cambodia
They told me he was not the most beautiful. I chose him because he loved his keeper, Nick Marx the tiger whisperer. Nick didn’t think Areang would collaborate. The park was big enough that he could easily shy away. The installation fragile enough he could destroy it with the swipe of his paw. For 30 minutes he became the guardian of the TimeShrine and gifted me with the most incredible collaboration. His eyes stronger than any of my words. All tigers are beautiful.
More tigers live now in cages than in the wild. They are being farmed, butchered, sold and commoditized.
Gardeners of Eden 1Chang Rai, Thailand
There is a distinctive light in the Golden Triangle mornings. It’s not bright, it shines. I wasn’t looking for them, they found me. Together we stumbled upon this forest of wild banana trees. From their happiness radiated deep rays of bliss. One eternal maternity.
One elephant is killed for its tusks every fifteen minutes.
Sun Bears 1Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, Cambodia
I didn’t even know bears existed in Asia. Named after the Moon and the Sun, they carry the cosmic symbols on their chest, tattooed for eternity. These survivors stumbled onto the installation curious and shy, hiding behind killer paws their playful demeanor. Suddenly a dark memory caught up with them and their sadness was palpable. As cold as the cages most of them don’t survive.
Today more Sun bears are imprisoned in farms than living in the wild. They are kept in cramped cages and constantly milked for their bile, which can sell for eighteen times the price of gold.
Guardian PenguinsGold Harbor, South Georgia, South Atlantic Ocean
I ran into them, almost immediately, on the endless beach of Gold Harbor, proud guardians nesting in this luscious grassland. An unexpected premonition of a future without snow and ice. Under the ironic and superior stare of my protagonists, I rested the gentoo penguin scull in front of my whale bone. I found the skeleton a few feet away. These penguins live, breed and die here, an essential vision of our eternal life cycle.
I placed the alca impennis egg next to my vanitas. While incubating an egg, the last couple of this extinct penguin species was killed in 1844 by a private collector.
Hippos and Fever Trees, DawnOloidien Bay, Kenya
Never had the volcanic lake been so full, a feast of fish chanted by the birds. The hippo pod was larger than ever remembered. I stayed there from dawn to dusk, unable to capture all the visions created around the hippo skull by the wealth of light and reflections. I returned the next day at dawn for the birds. As the mist rose, they started to sing and the light turned to color.
A year later most of the Hippos had been killed and the bird population drastically reduced.
Oloidien Bay is an officially recognized Ramsar site but poachers operate here in broad daylight trapping animals with impunity and heavily overfishing the lake, thus depriving hippos and migratory birds of their natural resource.
Amur Leopard 1Center for Species Survival, La Torbiera, Italy
He seemed enhanced like a super cat. His fur longer, his jumps higher, his gaze stronger. A coveted inspiration for great mountain leaders and monks since the night of time. With the leaves his keeper had left for him to play I swept a circle to protect the Bi eternity symbols. As he entered all I could feel was his blue gaze. Vanishing and deep as ancient ice.
Amur leopards are almost extinct, with less than 70 wild adults left in the world.
Snow Leopard 1Center for Species Survival, La Torbiera, Italy
He was already rare when I was a little girl. I never imagined I would find one of our most prophetic and mystical animals so near. I placed protective artifacts from a Nepalese Shaman on the TimeShrine. The snow leopard was so reserved, I wasn’t fully prepared when he approached the installation. His stare deep and eternal. His sphinx-like gaze, a perfect double of my Vanitas and the origins of life. He speaks.
There are less than 4,000 snow leopards left on the planet as climate change continues to reduce their habitat. Their only predator is Man.
Sudan DuskOl Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya
I spent two days with him from dawn to dusk watching his kindness and feeling his solitude. A species that survived millions of years and all evolutions has been decimated in a decade of war, habitat loss and poaching for horn. Sudan is the extreme symbol of human disregard for nature. I will make him live on forever.
Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on the planet, died on March 19th 2018.
FirefliesSagaponack, Long Island, USA
It took me a month to study and learn from them, I was not sure I could create a TimeShrine. Then I discovered that some females are flightless in order to shine bright. I marveled at the height they can reach, helicoptering up into the sky.
Their soothing blue light, void of infrared or ultraviolet frequencies, is so reminiscent of our childhood memories. Every child should see a firefly light in his summer.
Many studies have confirmed the complete disappearance of fireflies in various regions of the world.