for part 1 click here
The funny thing about me and Ed is that we were both going to experience epiphanies after the turn of the century that would transform our lives and take us on similar paths that would again cross. I previously described my epiphany in detail here.
This is Ed’s epiphany!
Ed spent some time in Prouts Neck, an upscale community in Scarborough, Maine. He got to know George W. Bush, who would frequent nearby Kennebunkport. Now, Ed has some stories to tell about W., but I’ll leave that up to him. Bush’s re-election in 2004 was worrisome to Ed, and in 2007 he saw middle aged guys like him getting laid off and unable to find work. He realized that Bush was crashing the economy and that his place in the corporate world was in trouble. He formed “Plan B” in case he was right. He hadn’t previously been an artist, but he was a creative guy. He wanted to do something dynamic, meaningful, community connected and above all, be self employed. His “Plan B” was to follow his heart and become a full time artist.The crash came to pass, and the ax finally fell on Ed’s corporate job in 2010.
In his own words; “I’m now 6 years into it and find that I have experienced a complete mid-life epiphany of such power and value that I know for sure that I will look back on it as the single best event in my life. It’s frustratingly slow and painful, and at times it’s scary as hell for sure, but transformative in the extreme and a process that has left me a far better man than I was in 2010 when my life changed forever”.
Ed and I both had life changing events in middle-age that redirected us toward sculpture. Our paths cross in Santa Cruz at local art events. I wanted to showcase a five piece installation series that is permanently on display at Next Space co-working center located at 101 Cooper St, Santa Cruz California. Next Space is a secure building. To see this series, buzz the door bell and tell them that you want to see Ed’s installation and they will let you in.
Ed works mostly with found materials as a way of demonstrating that the natural beauty of the living world can be represented and appreciated without adding to the burden we have already placed placed on it.
‘Forage Species’ is a 5 part sculptural narrative and a call to action in defense of feeder species (forage species). Changing climate is not limited to warming land masses. Changing terrestrial thermal patterns dramatically effect our oceans and the food we need to survive. This collection of work attempts to speak to the relationships involved and is now complete and permanently on display at Next Space co-working center 101 Cooper St, Santa Cruz California.
Below are the photos of the 5 piece series, with Ed’s descriptions of each piece. You can see more of Ed Martinez’ work here.
‘Forage Species 2’ – 2013. In 2011 I became somewhat alarmed at a wild swing in migration patterns in the bait — this has become solidly more pronounced in the years since, but I wanted my work to speak to something more than pretty… art should make the audience think… and I wanted mine to ponder the relationship between even the smallest link in the food chain and our own survival.
‘Migrations – 2014’ – This was the 2nd Next Space installment and the subject of my Festivus holiday offering for that year. Its about the Sooty Shearwater Seabirds that we have on the Monterrey Bay and love so much.These lovely birds migrate early 40,000 miles each year and they depend on the bait fish (forage species) being where they are supposed to be, or they die in large numbers. In 2015 we saw such a die off, although we don’t know precisely why – as usual it was probably a combination of things, but I wanted my audience to think about them — they deserve at least that much certainly.
‘Shelter’ 2014 -(the 3rd Next Space installment) – I was thinking about the habitat that shelters forage species until they become mature enough to survive in the wild ocean… its meant to remind us of the importance of the mangrove forests on the Atlantic coast but could represent any coastal habitat like Elkhorn Slough which can drown very quickly if sea levels rise too fast.
‘Ball of confusion’ – 2015. (the 4th Next Space installation). After the first 3 installations, I had to fit humans into the narrative somewhere. But there were so many angles to it that I finally settled on where WE as a species find ourselves today. We are, in point of fact, the first critter on this rock to have the choice of whether we become extinct or not – heavy thought that. We can choose to blow ourselves off this garden of Eden – or – become a sane and somewhat more rational animal and begin to realize that we are as dependent on that tiny bait fish as we are on the air we breath and the water we drink — Face it kids , the planet does not really care whether we are on it or not – we have been given a choice by whatever force created all this,,, and its decision time — go or stay —
‘Requiem’ 2016 – (the 5th and final Next Space installment) – Requiem is a cool word, with many meanings all of which worked for this piece. Requiem is a family of sharks native to our waters, but its also a Latin mass for the dead “Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine” – “Grant them eternal rest, O Lord”. First time I saw a shark finning boat this line floated through the tears we were shedding as we watched horrorstruck as live sharks were ‘finned’ and thrown back overboard. They are among natures most perfect creations (far more so I suspect than we are) and the health of our fisheries completely depends on them – whether we ever get smart enough to acknowledge it or not. We kill 3 of them every second of every day – year in and year out…