John is excited to share his new body of work in the show titled “Landscape Migration.” With “Landscape Migration” John explores a more outward facing consideration of how we are connected to our surroundings.
While out drawing late one summer day John was awestruck to find himself amidst the migration of the monarch butterfly, various seabirds and insects. Bearing witness to this explosion of activity felt like a divine connection between the migration of all living beings and the varied landscape they were traversing.
Monarchs depend on environmental cues to know when it is time to travel south for the winter. According to the USDA monarchs are believed to use, “a combination of directional aids such as the magnetic pull of the earth and the position of the sun” to navigate using air currents to propel their flight. Exceptional travelers, some have covered up to 300 miles in a single day on their 3000 mile journey south far outpacing their average distance of 50 miles per day.
The monarch's freedom to travel is connected to the relatively stable environment they’ve lived in for thousands of years. Witnessing these delicate insects erratically flapping in the mild breeze struck John like never before. Seeing them ride the changing air currents made him wonder how much the butterflies will have to adapt to the new normal of record breaking weather events that dramatically alter our surroundings. Will the monarch's territory expand north and shrink in the south? Will the butterflies be pushed off course to the Canadian Rockies? Will they survive?