Members: Lola J (Junior), Tony Z (Junior), Itzcoatl S (Junior)
The overall idea behind our art piece was to display how the conversion to renewable energy would be a necessary step, in order to heal the planet. Taking advantage of the open-ended form of the contest, we decided to present our concept using surrealism. Originally we intended to focus on one specific type of renewable energy, however, we decided to include the four main types in order to reflect that they work best when used together. In addition to this, we also included a variety of formulas that are necessary to implement these technologies. In its barest form, we believe science is the application of math, so we wanted our work to reflect that concept. The girl shown in the image was inspired by Lady Liberty and is young in order to represent that the technologies that are being used are newer. In addition to this, the expression on her face reveals her uncertainty, similarly to how we are uncertain if the changes we’re making will have enough of an impact to deter the climate crisis. Among the formulas on the wall, the year, 2027 is repeated as it is the year in which many scientists predicted to be the point in which climate change is irreversible. The only time, however, you can see it clearly is when it was written really small, illustrating how we try to ignore the issue. The last thing I would like to mention is that the cloth on her arm and the bow tied around her neck are transparent, paying homage to the original concept of having the hydroelectric dam built into her arm.
In the beginning, we sought to include as many types of symbols of renewable resources. There is a sun behind the central figure, a dove made of solar panels, a solar panel on the separating border, windmills behind her, cooling towers for geothermal energy on her hair, and her belt is a hydroelectric dam. The sun was later removed when coloring, as we wanted to move the light from behind her so eyes would first be drawn to her. The diaphanous gauze hanging from her arm takes inspiration from American Progress, a painting by John Gast with Columbia in a toga moving with settlers out West. In that painting, Columbia takes along telephone lines and trains, speaking to the new technologies that the movement will foster. We wanted to bring about that message in our piece with our central figure, that has a likeness to Lady Liberty, also seeming to bring along these renewable resources with her. After the sketch was finalized, it was traced to a different page in order to preserve the neatness of the final piece. The shading style used on the skin was meant to replicate those seen in Renaissance paintings. This was meant to emphasize how the decision to transfer to renewable resources will have a large change in the course of history. When it came to coloring the background behind the girl, much deliberation took place. Originally, our idea was to make the landscape behind her look dead and bleak, with a red sky clouded in dark smoke, along with a rocky environment. However, we realized that this scene was a bit overused when conveying the effects of the use of non-renewable energy resources on the planet. Instead, we decided that it would be colored reflecting the current state of the environment. This was meant to show that despite, the fact that the world we currently see doesn’t appear to be in immediate danger, there is still an urgency to fix it. When coloring the rest of the girl, we made distinct choices in the colors we used, her hair is blonde representing corn, her eyes are pinkish-purple color representing healing, and her dress is colored blue, blending in with the water coming out of the dam at her belt.