Catherine Nelson has created some remarkable images.
Her digital images made from combinations of hundreds of photographs create a globe on which are superimposed constructed images of local landscapes and habitats.
The statement “Think Global. Act Local” has become such a cliché that it has lost all meaning. Yet Nelson’s images bring it back to life. She describes her work as “a contemporary pictorial mythology that subtly reminds the viewer of a profound truth: that it is in the flourishing variety of the local that the fate of the world resides.”
We hear so much environmental rhetoric that is focused on ‘changing the world’ or ‘saving the planet’. It all sounds grand but ends up being little more than hot air. Constructive action depends much more on the success of local initiatives than it does on endless global conferences where little agreement about anything can be achieved – and when agreed, little is implemented.
Nelson’s work reminds us that the globe is made up of gardens, parks, forests, wilderness areas, rivers and mountains that are all local to some community. It is in all our local areas that the miracles of nature on which we all depend are happening. We can all contribute by making our local area – even our back garden – better without waiting for someone else to set up that next large protected area or nature reserve somewhere else.
Nelson’s work reminds us that it is the local that, brick by brick, builds the world we live in and we should create our local environment in the image of the type of world we’d like to live in.