16x2o in. Graphite on paper. 2016
“Wolves play a very important role in the ecosystems in which they live. Since 1995, when wolves were reintroduced to the American West, research has shown that in many places they have helped revitalize and restore ecosystems. They improve habitat and increase populations of countless species from birds of prey to pronghorn, and even trout. The presence of wolves influences the population and behavior of their prey, changing the browsing and foraging patterns of prey animals and how they move about the land. This, in turn, ripples throughout plant and animal communities, often altering the landscape itself. For this reason wolves are described as a “keystone species,” whose presence is vital to maintaining the health, structure and balance of ecosystems.” -Living With Wolves
Grass is a plant that has a way of coming back, no matter how many times it is cut. It is the most widespread plant type, and one of the most valuable food sources on the planet.
When I think about the wolf debate, I think about my hope for a return- a return of balance, a renewal of a population who has been cut back almost to the point of extinction. I’ve drawn a wolf skeleton, made of grass, housing a baby pronghorn deer- one of the many species that thrive with a higher wolf population (less coyotes stealing their babies). The life of this keystone species leads to other life, and through it’s comeback, much like the grass, it can house and help sustain a more prosperous future.
To learn more about wolves and the ecosystem, check out Living With Wolves.
For Bones show at Galerie F in Chicago. Sold.