Rose B. Simpson’s Droughtcore Sculptures #ArtTuesday

Artist Rose B. Simpson addresses history, culture, and the future in her artwork. Mixing mediums, Simpson tells stories of how we interact with each other and the earth. Art in America shares.

In recent times, the conditions of struggle have unfolded in a landscape marked by climate chaos. This year alone, in the dry lands from which Simpson hails, wildfires have consumed more than 230,000 acres. For scale, the Santa Clara Pueblo covers just about 1,344 acres. The northern New Mexican lands are steadily growing drier and windier, culminating in the perfect condition for ravaging fires. Against this landscape, it is hard to avoid a point that Anishinaabe literary theorist Grace Dillon raised in 2012—it is almost mundane now to say that, for the colonized, apocalypse has already occurred. In the 10 years since Dillon, who is credited with originating the term Indigenous Futurism, made this observation, it has become a commonplace acknowledgment for more and more people. These conditions feel baked into Simpson’s ceramic works—there is a post-apocalyptic tinge to the resourceful way she alludes to this burning, which dries the land from which she derives her clay. The exposed landscape is still visible in the works’ orange color.

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