Seen and Unseen (Newtok #1)

Seen and Unseen (Newtok #1)

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Seen and Unseen documents the effects of climate change in the Alaska Native Village of Newtok. Ten percent of all sales from Seen and Unseen goes directly to the Newtok Village Council. Funds directly support the Alaska Native community of Newtok, specifically helping with infrastructure, securing clean water, and village events. Cronin’s latest body of work includes paintings and screen prints created over the past 3 years based on her experience in Newtok, Alaska during a visit there in June of 2016. Newtok is a small, remote Alaska Native village, which is currently threatened by the effects of climate change. Due to drastic erosion caused by a combination of thawing permafrost, low levels of sea ice, and strong storms, the land of Newtok is on the brink of environmental disaster. “Seen and Unseen” depicts a place that is in a state of environmental flux, quickly disappearing from existence. Meticulously painted landscapes unravel as they disappear into a wispy haze of white paint. Screen prints, which, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than blank pages, gently beckon the viewer as they slowly reveal the subtle details of a landscape at the edge of existence. All of this work points to the serene beauty of Newtok, while simultaneously bringing to light its extreme vulnerability. “When considering how best to represent the crisis of Newtok, I keep coming back to a feeling that I had while I was there, which has lingered in my consciousness since. As I stood watching the land as though it was a slowly dying creature, crumbling away into the river before my eyes, I was overwhelmed by a sickening sense of irony. Newtok, so beautifully disconnected and remote, has one tragic tie with the rest of the world, which will eventually cause its demise. Seen and Unseen is my response to the simultaneous beauty and tragedy of this disappearing place.”