“What do you imagine the islander was thinking when he chopped down the last tree?” Anthropologist Jared Diamond posed this question while discussing Easter Island as a culture that demolished its resources with no forethought. The Island, once forested and thriving, is now a barren lump with a poverty economy supported by tourism.

The cavalier, and frequently dangerous, attitude of powerful forces toward our environment is the impetus for my new installation --- “The Last Tree” --- that speaks to societies and their collapse.

Mr. Diamond aptly states:
“By now the meaning of Easter Island for us should be chillingly obvious. Easter Island is Earth writ small. Today, again, a rising population confronts shrinking resources.”

Easter Island dynamically portends our environmental crises. My question is: At one point do we realize our self-destruction?

The attached drawing for “The Last Tree” installation shows 193 tree stumps in metal pails and one lone tree. The stumps and tree are constructed of rust and tea stained silk organza, encaustic, string, thread, then stuffed with human hair. Hair represents the environment, symbolistic of a newly developed method to clean up oils spills – mats made of human hair are used to clean up oil spills. The 193 metal pails recognize each country/state in the world. Computer projected anti-environmentalstatements by politicians (such as “drill baby drill”, “country first”, “energy independence”) move across the pails and walls, fading off and on.

To make a tax-deductible donation to "The Last Tree" project, click http://babsreingold.com/donate/ or go direct to http://artspire.org/donors.aspx. for online credit card contributions.
If check preferred (payable to NYFA), mail c/o Babs Reingold, PO Box 173, St. Petersburg FL, 33731.