Meredith Nemirov

I was thrilled to find the Think Resilience course because it discusses the issues we face regarding the climate crisis and what brought us to this point in a very clear way. Participating in the online What’s Next For Earth exhibitions has pushed my work as an artist toward new directions and new ways of thinking about our natural world. As I explore new themes for my work, I find the information I learned from the course pushing me to better understand the relationships between my local environment and the larger issues facing our global community.

Headwaters

Acrylic on cradled wood panels
30" x 40"

In lesson 20, Meeting Essential Community Needs, of the Think Resilience course from the Post Carbon Institute, Richard Heinberg talks about doing the resilience work to maintain the health of natural lakes, rivers and streams. Building community resilience starts with people and their energy, interests, needs and creativity. Colorado is called the Headwater State because eight major river basins originate here. Living at 7000 feet in the San Juan Mountains I am acutely aware of where our water comes from. This triptych depicts three stages of a river; Source, where the snowmelt starts the water's journey, and continues to Meander through the watershed on it's way to it's final destination, the estuary or the mouth of the river.
2023
  • Meredith Nemirov

Water (In)Justice: Ancient communities to contemporary

Three photographs
Collage, photography with watercolor
2023

“Resilience and sustainability require justice"

–Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute

Photo 1: These figures from 5th c. BC Greece represent a society. Aristotle's belief in natural law states that essential rights such as equal access to air, water and an inhabitable Earth supersede the laws of man.

Photo 2: This clay head depicts the river god Acheloos associated with the Achelous River, the most powerfully flowing in Greece.

Photo 3: The Colorado River Compact 1922 allocated water to 7 states. Native Americans were excluded from this agreement. The Colorado River has been the lifeblood of the Southern Utes since 1300. In the 1960's the federal govt. started to address how much water the tribes could take from the river. We hope that all parties examining this outdated agreement will move forward keeping in mind the concept of Social Justice in allocating water to all members of society. Photograph from the SouthernUteArchives.
2023
  • Meredith Nemirov

River Earths

watercolor gouache
historic topo map on handmade paper
4" x 6"

As stated in lesson 16 of the Think Resilience course from the Post Carbon Institute, "Globalization is the relentless pursuit of economic efficiency which has serious costs to community resilience." The focus of my recent work has been rivers. Natural rivers have a high level of resiliency, but in the 20th century, nations, in their effort to provide more energy, more efficiently harnessed the power of the rivers by building dams to further industrialization. This is a clear example of how the pursuit of more energy has had serious costs to our nation's, and the world's, rivers and the communities that live along their banks.
2023
  • Meredith Nemirov

The Old Juniper Tree

On-site watercolor painting

I have been making onsite studies and paintings of a group of Utah Juniper trees for the past five years. They grow on Dragon's Point in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Soutwestern Colorado.

For this last post of 2022 on #whatsnextforearth I wanted to pick an image of resilience. The Thinking Resilience course has added depth and created a new resonance with which to think about the resiliency we will need in our communities in the next few years and beyond. Even though the Utah Juniper tree can survive extreme heat with very little water and live for hundreds of years, there are times when the climate is different and the tree must adapt to these new conditions. In very dry years they sacrifice branches to conserve moisture. When stressed by wind or inhospitable topsoil they twist and bend as they grow.

Piñon-Juniper forests have long been important to local communities for fuel wood, fence posts, pinenuts, forage for livestock and watershed protection. More recently, communities and businesses have begun to turn to these forests as a source for fuel and energy.

These trees also provide habitat for many of of Colorado's rarest plants, along with the Gray Vireo, one of the state's rarest birds.

From lesson 15: Six Foundations For Building Community Resilience: 'A community that adapts to change is resilient because communities and the challenges we face are dynamic and adaptation is an ongoing process."
-Richard Heinberg
2022
  • Meredith Nemirov

Voice of a River

Group of five pieces
- The on-site watercolors of the river (5” x 8”) are in a black-bound book from my last series RIvers Feed The Trees, an exploration of rivers, topography, and the color blue.
- Two pieces (12” x 16”) are made with fragments of maps.

Thanks to The Post Carbon Institute for exploring the relationship between sustainability and resilience in the most recent Think Resilience Course!

Natural rivers have a high level of resiliency. They create buffers as they wend their way downstream and across valleys and create new channels that contribute to the overall health of all beings living on the land through which they flow. We can use this as a guide, or a metaphor, for how our communities can adapt and support this natural process of resiliency.

By juxtaposing my on-site watercolor studies of the spring runoff with fragmented rivers from human-created maps of the land, I hope that one thinks about our negative impact on rivers and watersheds as well as the vital role our communities can play in wetland restoration.

This work restores the resiliency of a river and creates a trickle-down effect in nearly every aspect of the life of communities around the world. Meredith Nemirov is an artist living and painting in the Uncompahgre River Valley in southwest Colorado.
2022
  • Meredith Nemirov

Rivers Feed the Trees #455 

Acrylagouache on historic topo map
17" x 13.5"
2022

If there is resilience in the forest it owes a great deal to the mycorrhizal network of fungi that grows underground. The symbiotic relationship between these thin white strands of fungi which spread for miles below the forest floor, and the trees growing above contribute to the ongoing cycle of mutual adaptation. Some fungi help the trees and plants to adapt to and survive drought conditions and fight off invading pests. It is a web of organisms dealing with crises together. It is wise to remember that we cannot be resilient on our own.
2022
  • Meredith Nemirov

When Water Slips Through Roots

Acrylagouche on recycled topo map
13.5" x 17"

This line is from a poem titled Anvil by Arthur Sze "when water slips through roots, rises through a trunk, streams into trees".

I am always fulfilled and excited to look at the way the natural world works to sustain its life and nourishing presence on this earth. There is a lot to learn about the economy of consumption.

The sleek interdependence which sustains trees, plants and other forms of wildlife on earth would be a good model as we go forward and try to reduce our habits of excessive consumerism.

Not only is the process of survival or existence in the natural world vital but the result is also incredibly beautiful and sensual, attributes all humans appreciate and can enjoy in ways other than the aquisition of more material goods.
2022
  • Meredith Nemirov

LEGEND/RELIEF

A new series of collages, paper on wood panel
5" x 7"

A legend is a list of symbols that appear on a map. Represented in Legend/Relief are bridges, tunnels, railroads, trails, etc., man-made aspects of our topography. A continuing effort to maintain, wherever possible, our existing infrastructure can be seen as one part of the shift from a consumer economy to a conserver economy by improving and continuing to use what we have instead of building new roads, bridges, etc.
2021
  • Meredith Nemirov

Rivers Feed The Trees #479

Acryla Gouache on historic topo map 13.5" x 17" x 1.5"

A watershed is an entire river system. The interconnectedness of a forest root system. The Mycorrhizal network underground. " It's important to understand that this is the natural way of seeing the world. We intuitively know that systems are more than the sum of their parts."
2021
  • Meredith Nemirov

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