Stephanie Cardon

MFA ’10 Fine Arts 3D

These recent works are a series of expressions of grief and anger about the sixth mass extinction of species and the climate crisis that is shaping our lives. Pieces like Death, like the Sun, Cannot Be Contemplated Directly (2019) and Sunset Surrender (2019) repurpose construction waste, a significant source of emissions and plastic pollution, into objects that employ color, shape, texture and pattern to sound the alarm and invite others to grieve and move with reverence and gratitude through the world.

Eastern Prickly Pear is a species of edible cactus, native to this land. In Massachusetts, its shoreline habitat is endangered by development. Surrounded by bricks manufactured in the Pray brickyard, from clay deposits 15,000 years old, Companion Species: Opuntia humifusa (2022) becomes an altar to one of our plant relatives and invites our stewardship. It posits that prayer is the act of tending to what we value and love.

Retreating summer ice in the Arctic undermines what is known as the albedo effect, the reflective quality of ice-sheets and their vital role in cooling our global climate. Signposts (2019) abstracts the image of drifting ice, evoking subject matter with color and the reflective properties of high-visibility material. Its embroidered text was inspired by a prophecy shared by Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation. His entreaty to pay attention to interconnected signposts of accelerating winds and the treatment of children, as signs of Earth’s degradation, echoed inside my body as I heard about child-parent separation at the US-Mexico border.

Stephanie Cardon is an artist and educator, currently living and working in Boston. Her work has been exhibited at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, VSOP Projects, Boston Sculptors Gallery, Maine Center for Contemporary Art, and in public spaces like the Prudential Center through an art commission for Now + There. Cardon is a 2019 Mass Cultural Council Awardee, and has participated in residencies at MassMoCA, Ucross, AIRIE, and the Wassaic Project, among others. Her work recently has been recognized in The Boston Globe, Boston Art Review, Delicious Line, WBUR The Artery and other publications.