Carbon, Mostly: Brinkiness & the Rights of Nature, 2015

Essay by Violet Snow

Cover of the catalog Carbon, Mostly: Brinkiness and the Rights of Nature, Sculpture by Christy Rupp

Carbon, Mostly: Brinkiness and the Rights of Nature, sculpture by Christy Rupp was exhibited at BCB Art in Hudson, New York, in 2015.

The catalog Carbon, Mostly is available for purchase on Blurb.

In the sculptures of Carbon, Mostly, ecoartist Christy Rupp takes a penetrating and playful look at the exploitation of the environment from the viewpoint of the animals and plants whose rights are being violated by human desires that foul the creatures’ nests as we inexorably degrade our own nest.

Imitating the movement of a bobble-head, the Kinetic Oily Turtle, a steel-framed wax being counterweighted with fishing sinkers, performs the flopping dance that pierces our hearts on the news after an oil spill. “Thanks for the sympathy,” says Rupp’s vulnerable, engaging turtle, “but look deeper. Check out the not-so-cuddly sediments and microorganisms that will stay polluted for years. And what about the people on the coast, dealing with contaminated land?”

A life-sized manatee skeleton is made with gold credit cards and plastic gift cards, under the title Remaining Balance Insuficient.

“Not so many of us left,” murmurs the manatee. “And you can’t buy me more time with that fake stuff you call ‘money.’”

Meanwhile the spirits of plants, ants, and other creatures are represented through welded steel, wax, and paper, emblazoned with the bio-pirated formulas of exotic chemicals derived from these endangered species. “You take our bodies and sell them as healing drugs at tremendous profit,” they sigh, “but how will you heal us?”

Rupp’s work embodies the breathtaking ironies of ecological crime while offering deeply symbolic, unforgettable images that amuse us, while inspiring us to take our proper role as stewards, not ex- ploiters, of nature.

Essay by Violet Snow, August 2015