Susan Lowdermilk (Eugene, Oregon)
YOU Cannot Put a Fire Out
Woodcut imagery, laser cut text and pop-ups
8” x 9.75” x 1”
This artist book is my reflection upon our current and increasing climate instability. It features a poem by Emily Dickinson. Imagery is based upon catastrophic natural disasters from Fall, 2018. On November 8, Paradise California was annihilated by a wildfire called the Camp Fire. Hurricane Florence was the first major hurricane of the season and caused catastrophic damage in North and South Carolina in September. Everything in our environment is interconnected. I believe that it will be through this realization that humanity will find hope and the necessary compassion and ingenuity to manage the crisis that is due to our changing climate.
Multiple block woodcut, ink made from wildfire charcoal
9” x 12”
I created “2020 Conflagration,” in response to the unprecedented wildfire season and the sudden mass die off of migratory birds across the Western states in 2020. One million acres burned in my home state of Oregon alone. The wild fires disrupted the migration of many birds and forced them to reroute. An unseasonal, cold weather event across the Rocky Mountain West attributed to climate change also contributed to the fatal disruption of the birds’ journey. A conservative estimation of tens of thousands of migratory songbirds died of starvation and exhaustion in September of 2020. The black ink in this woodcut is made from the charred wood from the Holiday Farm Fire that burned over 173,393 acres (271 square miles) of temperate rainforest and communities in the McKenzie River watershed near my home in Western Oregon.
Susan Lowdermilk is a book artist and printmaker. She creates hand bound artist’s books involving movable parts and pop-ups. She works in traditional printmaking processes and digital media. She is a professor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. She also teaches workshops in artist’s books, paper engineering and printmaking. Her work has been collected by over 60 public institutions worldwide and is represented in galleries throughout the United States. She earned her Master’s of Fine Art from the University of Oregon in Eugene, and her Bachelor’s of Fine Art from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. www.susanlowdermilk.com