Artist Elle MacLaren Wants To Make You Think About Climate Change
In the midst of the pandemic, political upheaval and an overall sense of unease, escaping to a new art exhibit sounds like a respite. A new show at Loveland’s Artworks Center for Contemporary Art hopes to offer some calm but also a message.
Elle MacLaren, a former Boulder resident who now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has returned to Colorado with a evocative set of works called “Tragic Beauty.”
“It's been an ongoing series for almost four years now,” MacLaren said. “Um, I started the series in 2017 when the new administration came to the White House, and I was very disturbed by the lack of believing science and the reckless dismissal of climate change and global warming.”
“I thought, well, as an artist, I would like to make a statement with my art.”
Based on photographs of glaciers, MacLaren uses encaustic painting to bring to life her subject's chilly natural colors. It’s a beeswax-based medium she has worked in for over 20 years. She found inspiration for the colors in her works from the glaciers themselves, from beautiful dark blues to even a few hints of green.
Though the colors and fluid shapes may be calming, perhaps even soothing, there’s an unmistakable uneasiness at its center. The texture evokes a fluid look, creating a physical reminder of the constant melting threatening the glaciers’ very existence.
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