This creative project documents the changes to the Lopiano Habitat just north of Tempe Town Lake. Over the course of the project, the once restored wetland and desert habitat became overrun with debris and the plants and animals of the area were directly affected. Upon researching the city's choice to renovate the space, it was discovered that it was due to the increasing number of homeless and underserved individuals using the space for housing. Using photographs, the project displays the changed environment from lush habitat to trash-filled dirt patches. With the help of Julie Anand and Heather Green, I was able to select the best images to display as large scale prints, as well as small scale books that I constructed for my committee. Bioimagery was utilized to show what does not always meet the eye, and in some cases showed the effects that the demolition was having on the plant life, including what one of my committee members described as "an infection." They also acted as a metaphorical level to the photos in some cases, such as the hooks present on the regrown bamboo shoots that were slowly reclaiming the space. It was with the help of Dr. Page Baluch and her bioimagery lab that I was able to capture the smallest of details present on the samples I collected. The project serves as a potential starting point for other artists and community members to have a voice in the conversation and to hold the city accountable for their actions, especially when it comes to the underserved population. If they can spend so much time and funds into destroying what was once a beautiful habitat, why not put that effort into resources for the population they are trying to remove?
Included in this item (21)