My work builds on stories (either real or conjectured), and my observations and concerns for wild creatures that move within the shrinking natural Florida environs which they still manage to inhabit. Creatures moving between and over one another, trying to survive the persistent pressure and chaos of our human self concerned lives within the darkening illumination of their fading wilderness.
Even in 2020, powerful birds, vigilant panthers, wary gators, audacious bears, blackwater swamps, old cypress trees, still survive in Florida just beyond the highways edge, back behind the citrus stands, and out of the way of careening logging trucks. The work is not so much an indictment of hunting or clear-cutting or the carnage of the animals on our backroads and highways, but, more of a prompt to steer we human “sinners” from our current road to perdition, back onto a path of righteous stewardship of the natural environment. My work is really about this moment, midway between hope and despair.
Mark Messersmith, 2020