JTLazenby Artist Statement:
The question, “What have we done to our planet?” is the main filter I use as an artist when observing any one place, or viewing any one culture. My perspective is tribal, meaning that I honor ancestral ways of thinking. To me, our collective past and future are more interesting than one person’s path through time. Our stewardship of the earth is also more significant to me than any one economy.
I seek understanding through artistic study, so my second question is usually “Who was here before?“. Answers always lead me to study history and cultures specific to a place. It is in this framework that I find Myself simultaneously inspired and horrified by humanity. The things we create as a species are marvelous, but there is a lesson echoing through time. I hear it like the beat of a drum from the past. The sound of it morphs into the future, like a klaxon screaming from Einstein’s relativistic train. I see history literally repeating as we create the same story over and over again: We consume resources until they are depleted, then move on. It is the same story in every environment we encounter, every culture we create. The end result is always the same.
Our cultures have left their footprint on the planet, and I explore them in search of inspiration. The third question “What did they leave behind?” is a quest for dialogue. Exchanges of art and culture that coincide in time are intriguing, as are the artifacts that survive time to leave a message for the future. As an Artist my work operates at the intersection of travel, history and environmental impact.
Please join me in this odyssey! It’s the only way to find answers to the final question, as you discover what I’ve “left behind” along the way.
J. Troy Lazenby is a Seattle based visual artist primarily working in printmaking, with intermittent forays into painting and sculpture. Originally from Utah, Troy also lived in Arizona before moving to the Pacific Northwest. He currently resides in an art community known as Bemis Arts where he has been exhibiting since 2012.