DESOLATION
       
     
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DESOLATION
       
     
DESOLATION

temporary installation in the roosevelt row shipping containers, phoenix, az
as part of of a place by rhetorical galleries
scavenged eucalyptus leaves and branches, concrete, spray paint, dress pins, 2015

In Desolation, I am examining humans’ effect on the Earth, specifically through the introduction of eucalyptus trees to the United States. Eucalyptuses, native to Australia, were brought to California in the late 1800s, and they flourished, growing 40 feet in just three years. They were seen as a wonder tree. Now, eucalyptuses encompass much of California and are even making their way into the valley along freeways and roads and in yards of businesses and homes.  

-eucalyptus trees grow quickly, stealing water from other plants
-they aren’t easily harmed by fire and instead fuel forest fires with ample foliage waste and can explode because of their combustible oil
-their leaf and bark litter can be up to four feet thick on the forest floor because organisms that eat eucalyptus are all in Australia
-plants that push through the eucalyptus litter are otherwise killed because eucalyptus emanate their own herbicide, known to scientists as eucalyptus desolation; poison oak and ivy (another invasive plant) are some of the only species immune
- north American birds’ beaks are too short to deal with the eucalyptus’s sticky gum, so the gum clogs their bills, suffocating or starving them

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