Walter Dunnagan The Decay Of Gaia Analysis

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Abstract painter Walter Darby Bannard once said, “When you 'break all the barriers ' you get a pile of rubble.” This is very true of the art world; in order to avoid creating a “pile of rubble,” artists use certain rules and elements in their work so that their message can be clear to their audience. This is true of Lindsey Dunnagan’s watercolor and ink painted acrylic installation, The Decay of Gaia. While Dunnagan uses many formal elements to warn her audience about the dangers of harming the earth, two elements, space and shape, stick out in helping her achieve her goal.
Perhaps the most essential element Dunnagan uses in her piece is space. While normally it is what the artist has created that gives an art piece its power, in this
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The broken city is shown in the form of ten gaged, circular forms that are spaced apart and sometimes overlapping. Instead of clear circles, the more organic shapes are used to create a sense of brokenness. At one point these shapes were united as one, but the audience is only allowed to see the aftermath of some sort of destruction. The pieces have been torn apart; their ripped edges makes the viewer experience the tearing themselves. It gives the audience a more personal, uncomfortable reaction compared to if the pieces were clean circles. Dunnagan uses shape, specifically organic shape, to help the audience understand the destruction, horror, and heartache associated with her depiction of a broken earth. These two elements, space and shape, help convey Lindsey Dunnagan’s meaning to her audience. The overwhelming space of the wall behind the art piece gives the pieces themselves and wandering or lost quality, separating them from each other. Meanwhile, their shape also enhances the message. The acrylic fragments look torn apart, helping the viewer understand the threat of continued corruption of the earth. Together, these two elements create a lasting effect of viewers of The Decay of
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