Mapping Extinction II / Linda Knight
Size: 1500 x 1500 mm
Medium: Pencil on paper
Mapping Extinction maps the devastating impacts of the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires which burned 11 million hectares (27 million acres) of forest and killed 5 billion animals, sending many native species to the point of extinction. Using images of Australian native animals critically endangered in the bushfires, Knight creates dis-located drawings that reference the dispassionate specimen drawings made by botanists on early colonial sailing ships. Their blue color is a deliberate pun on the idea of recording something in perpetuity - as a form of blueprint should animal cloning become a possibility. Accompanying the specimen studies are mappings of the repetitive movements of each affected animal, captured in videos and posted on the web.
The juxtaposition of the static studies and gestural, pre-recorded movements create drawings that convey the tensions of enacting conservation strategies during times of unchecked extractivism and deforestation. The drawings are large but their subject matter is modest, featuring some of the smallest victims of climate change. The drawings build a climate renaissance because they introduce us to their existence and their precarity, and bring specific detail to a large and wicked problem.