Christine Atkinson: Los Angeles is not a desert

3325 Division St. Los Angeles, CA 90065
Sep 25, 7 PM - 10 PM — ends Oct 24, 2021
September 25th - October 30th, 2021
Gallery hours Saturdays 12pm—4pm and by appointment.

“In the meantime, the pure waste going on — the wanton destruction of the innocents – is a sad sight to see and the sun may well be pitied in being compelled to look on.”

—John Muir in reference to the Central Valley of California.

We know that our institutions have failed us, that what we thought of as a reliable model, is not working and has not worked for many of us for a long time. The understanding of the landscape, of where nature resides and our place in it, is flawed. The prevailing aesthetic of Los Angeles of palm trees, tropical and imported ornamental gardens has little to do with the hundreds of plants that create the native ecosystem. Static and unchanging, dead but predictable, we live in a taxidermied landscape. We’ve created an urban environment that is totally dependent on imported water and human intervention, which neither connects us to Los Angeles as a place or supports the failing ecosystem.

Los Angeles is not a desert examines this disconnect through photography and installation. The images from the series for you and those you love focus on the gardens, both public and private, that are devoted to supporting the native ecosystem with the hope to prevent its collapse. Giant bird of paradise leaves painted in green epoxy masquerade as verdant, and ideal. While in contrast, the dead looking branches of the encelia californica sit dormant or burn red in the light filtered through wildfire smoke. Wildfire debris encased in epoxy and salt acts as a time capsule of the drought, increasing temperatures and the misuse of water. How do we inhabit, recalibrate, and affect our home landscape of Los Angeles, and what will be the impact of our actions? Are we here for ourselves alone?

Christine Atkinson was born in Stockton, CA and raised in Northern California. She received her undergraduate degree from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara California and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Her works have been included in various shows across the United States including The Aviary Gallery in Boston, SOIL in Seattle, Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles, Focus Photo LA curated by Charlotte Cotton, Nicholas Fahey and Wendy Posner and has participated in “Art in Paper New York'' with Vellum. Atkinson is a member of Monte Vista Projects. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

PLEASE NOTE: Masks are required inside the gallery. If you are vaccinated, you may remove your mask in the backyard reception area. Thank you!