American artist Zaria Forman makes art that is just as tangible as the real thing. Her landscape pastel drawings include but are not limited to various oceans, glaciers, and major elements of nature that are hard to tackle. It’s actually mind-blowing how many of her pieces closely resemble the actual environment she’s painting. A lot of Zaria’s work is the result of extensive U.S. expeditions – Zaria takes photographs of the nature or element at hand such as her Greenland expedition and heads back to her studio. “In my work I explore moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility in the landscape and their impact on the viewer – In this process I am reminded of how small we are when confronted with the powerful forces of nature.” View some of our favorite Forman pieces below and read an excerpt from Zaria’s journey.
“In August 2012, I led an Arctic expedition up the NW coast of Greenland. Called “Chasing the Light”, it was the second expedition the mission of which was to create art inspired by this dramatic geography. The first, in 1869, was led by the American painter William Bradford. My mother, Rena Bass Forman, had conceived the idea for the voyage, but did not live to see it through. During the months of her illness her dedication to the expedition never wavered and I promised to carry out her final journey.
These drawings were inspired by this trip. Documenting climate change, the work addresses the concept of saying goodbye on scales both global and personal. In Greenland, I scattered my mother’s ashes amidst the melting ice.
I am deeply grateful for the team of talented artists and scholars and the Wanderbird captains and crew for helping me carry out my mother’s wishes and realize her dream.” Zaria Lynn