How much carbon does a person breathe out?
That’s the question Quesnel artist Jordan Schwab set to represent with his work, titled Breathe Out. His mixed media piece is on display as part of a climate change show in the Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George. Schwab is one of 11 artists who submitted pieces.
“I read this article about how much carbon a Canadian puts out in a year, and I started playing with math, and trying to figure out how to spatially represent that in different ways,” he said. “The framework represents how much the average person breathes out in a day.”
The piece includes a life-sized self-portrait and a frame of charred cedar wood. Schwab said he made different versions and models representing different volumes of carbon output, including a sculpture 14 feet tall representing the carbon output of an average household.
“I was interested in a way to represent actual carbon, so what I’ve been doing is burning cedar,” he said. “I like the way it is black.”
Schwab has already been to Prince George to check out the exhibit’s other works.
“One of the artists was representing their relationship with nature by sewing scenes into life jackets,” he said “One of the other pieces that was really striking… taken photos every hour of a sunset when the forest fires were really bad, and the sun was basically blotted out.”
Schwab moved to Quesnel right before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“It’s a strange time to try and move to a new place and get to know people,” he said.
Conversations with Landscapes, The Tip of the Iceberg will be on display in Prince George until April 4.
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