Fragile Beauty: Marjorie Brown Pierson
December 4, 2010 – January 31, 2011
Opening: Saturday, Dec 4, 6-9pm
Martine Chaisson Gallery
727 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Tues – Sat 10am-5pm
Imagine the entire state of Rhode Island — its cities and towns — slipping into the Atlantic Ocean. Where would its inhabitants go? What would the American government do? Scientists estimate that by the year 2040, the state of Louisiana will have more than a million acres of land — an area larger than the state of Rhode Island — as it disappears into the Gulf of Mexico. Staggering coastal erosion, caused by human activity and natural causes, is the culprit. Major events like hurricanes and oil spills are hastening this process.
Rapid wetlands erosion threatens Gulf Coast communities and the hundreds of thousands of American citizens who live and work in south Louisiana. Culturally significant cities and towns, such as New Orleans and Houma, are increasingly exposed to destructive hurricane storm surges in the Gulf of Mexico, as the buffering wetlands slip into the sea.
Marjorie Pierson grew up in south Louisiana, where her family has lived for generations. Her project to document the disappearing wetlands of her homeland began after Hurricane Rita ravaged south Louisiana. In “Fragile Beauty,” Pierson explores the constant cycle of post-catastrophe loss and renewal in the wetlands. Her exhibition combines abstract marsh landscapes discovered after Rita with hyperreal photographs of lush Louisiana wetlands. She lets the marsh tell its story, but amplifies the sound, wondering if anyone in America is listening.