The Necessity of Hope

Anne Marie Nequette through August 31, 2019

Alexandria 4.8 Million, 36×48

Peggy Murphy

On August 1, 2019 more than 12 billion tons of water permanently melted away from the Greenland ice sheet and found its way to the ocean, irreversibly raising sea levels globally. The implications of climate change cannot be overstated. In Sea Change, Anne Marie Nequette displays a thought-provoking reflection on our not so future future.

With this collection of collages, Nequette focuses on the effects of rising sea levels and the subsequent displacement of land and population. Referencing data and image, she creates her individual pieces with select vulnerable cities in mind. The pieces are titled by city and population numbers. The cities span the globe and the population numbers are huge. Viewing the work, one is struck by the enormity of the issue.

A small wooden sculpture- a piece from a larger installation, gives us clues into Nequette’s process and underscores her architectural and installation background. Referencing architectural models, the collage’s strong vertical and horizontal formats suggest plan and elevation views, often within the same piece. Sharply delineated areas of blue are offset by more randomly layered areas of painted and printed papers. Areas of blue flow through the piece to create sharply defined edges with some surprising twists and turns. The space is shallow–the point being surface, the implications of the edge, the connotation of habitable and inhabitable space.

Images of flooded streets, ravaged forests and displaced people are becoming far too common. Rather than this daily ration of catastrophic images, Nequette has given us bold swathes of vibrant color and subtle details. Turquoise, aquamarine and azure offset by textural areas of intricately marked passages and delicate calligraphy are indeed dramatic, but also carry a harmonious serenity and balance. With Sea Change Nequette gives us facts but also offers up an equilibrium that includes hope.