Kara Hall MFA Applied Craft + Design Thesis 2021
Refuge: Building Ecological Resilience
We are in the midst of a sixth extinction, one caused by human activity. How can we build ecological resilience in the lands we inhabit and reverse this entropy? Ecological relationships can be mended through small adjustments in our collective thinking and art has the power to bring attention to these non-human perspectives. When we queer our notions of conservation strategy to embrace systems thinking, we can look to the past for inspiration for the future while reckoning with the significant changes that have occurred in our disturbed ecologies. By reframing our ideology of “nature” to be part of our ecology rather than separate from it, we become stewards of our lands, active members of restoring these ecosystems rather than further degrading them. Reconstructing our values from favoring monetary wealth to embracing the richness of biological diversity rewards us with living in a more complex, vibrant, and exquisite world. Viewing the world through non-human eyes is critical to reimagine a future we exist in, as we depend on our ecological counterparts for our very survival. Refuge tackles these nuanced and complex ideas through a transdisciplinary approach combining art, pedagogy and ecology. The installation is designed as a ruminative and intimate multi-sensorial experience which allows it to have multiple accessible interactions with it’s audience. It combines 2D, 3D and 4D materials which are curated to focus on the individual objects occupying the space, while also existing as a whole catalogue.