Stations of the Cross: Climate Change is a collection of 14 drawings that illustrate various aspects of the biodiversity crisis including deforestation, desertification, and ocean acidification. These drawings combine images of those creatures on the brink of extinction because of our exploitation of the Earth with drawings of hands, which tell the story of the Passion through gestures.
The animals featured in this meditation on the growing biodiversity crisis have been chosen for three reasons:
- The loss of biodiversity is a great spiritual crisis. The song of the wood thrush has inspired generations of American poets. Henry David Thoreau described it as, “The only bird whose note affects me like music. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It changes all hours to an eternal morning.” Climate change is silencing the wood thrush and the loss of a bird’s song is a spiritual loss.
- The loss of certain species has catastrophic implications for human life all over the world, but particularly hard hit are those communities made more vulnerable because of centuries of environmental racism. The destruction of mangrove forests in the Philippines, just like the destruction of cypress swamps in south Louisiana, has made coastal communities defenseless against hurricanes and other so-called “natural” disasters.
- The failure to protect and care for the natural world points toward a tragic lack of trust in the goodness of God’s imagination. The American capitalist worldview has created a global extractivist economy that is dependent on the “extraction” of natural resources, like coal and other fossil fuels, for production. The extractivist worldview that thinks that it’s admirable to kill a lion for sport is the same one that encourages out-of-control consumption at the expense of people in the Global South.
Stations of the Cross: Climate Change seeks to tell the story of the last day of Jesus’s life with hands – hands rending garments, hands in supplication – out of a deep and growing concern on the part of the artist that images of torture, including images of Jesus’s torture, re-traumatize the traumatized. The drawings of hands in Stations of the Cross: Climate Change invite participants to see themselves and their hands in the growing biodiversity crisis.
Why a coloring book?
While we seem to be in the throes of a great coloring book craze, those of us in the fields of art advocacy and education have known for years that coloring is good for the mind and for the soul. The intimate details of each drawing are an invitation to go deep inside yourself and contemplate the beauty of God’s creation and lament its rapid destruction.