The piece of art entitled, “Edge Forest,” by Susan Cohen Thompson is a work of art that shows how human relationships and climate change are intertwined. The artwork shows three women, whose features are created by the elements of nature. For instance, the women’s hair is the green from trees and their noses are also devised from trees. Trees also form the outline of the women’s faces. The eyes on each woman are also generated by the trees and foliage. Water and the horizon form the females’ eyelids, which look as if they have make-up on them (Thompson 1).
Thompson’s choice to utilize three different faces demonstrates how much we are a part of climate change and what we need to do to make sure we are saving our environment. For instance, the woman on the far left has her eyes closed, which shows her disgust and worry about how mankind has abused the environment. It is almost as if she is saying, Oh My God. What have we done to our environment, due to selfishness and greed? There is no smile on her face. However, the woman in the middle has a slight smile and seems to show some hope and positive feeling about fixing the environment. The women on the right shows the most hope about the environment, her eyes wide open and her smile the biggest. This faces seems to be challenging people to take some responsibility for the destruction of the environment, along with ways to fix and resolve it (Thompson 1).
Compared to other works of arts, this piece is a unique mode of inquiry because it presents a challenge to the art viewer. It asks the viewer to pose questions to oneself, such as: what can I do to make climate change better and to decrease its negative effects? The artist uses color brilliantly and seems to regard her own art as a main mode of inquiry. For research, human facial expressions were discussed and other people’s ideas and feelings were asked about in her research. This was done to to gauge the emotions that “Edge Forest” was inciting in individuals. The methods of expression that Thompson uses is mostly creative expression to get her point across through the art work. Other artists have used research such as asking other people to simulate movements that the piece seems to be suggesting or using documentaries or fictional exploration (McNiff 38-40). In terms of problem solving, Thompson approaches the problem by immediately putting a human element and face on the problem at hand. That challenges us to review our own actions and how they affect our earth. For example, do we toss a can on the grass or recycle it?
When the “Edge Forest” is examined, an array of emotions and concepts come to the forefront of my mind. I feel that the artist is challenging viewers to take some responsibility for the environment that is slowly being ruined by many people, due to pollution, disrespect, and regarding the world as invincible and always be under our control. Thompson is stating and showing through her artwork that we do not have much time to correct this climate change. The three women’s faces show that there is limited time and a dire need and urgency. The three faces show the various possibilities that will happen if people choose to sit back and watch climate change ruin our world or take direct actions to fix what we have done to the environment. The choice is ours, but Thompson projects through “Edge Forest” that man and the environment are one and that climate change is the result of how well that healthy that relationship is.