October 28, 2019
First Breath, an exhibition of paintings by Maine eco-artist and educator Krisanne Baker, will be on display at the UNE Biddeford Campus Center from November 2 to December 6, 2019.
Baker’s paintings depict the beauty of phytoplankton, which she describes as “the microscopic life responsible for sustaining a breathable atmosphere and maintaining the chemistry of the ocean.” The title of the exhibition, First Breath, is an acknowledgement of the ocean’s role in sustaining life. “As we come from the ocean and are made of ocean, then our first breath truly belongs to the ocean,” she stated.
Baker was first inspired to paint phytoplankton after an evening swim through a bloom of glowing phytoplankton sparked her imagination and her need to know more. “Ten years ago, that phenomenal experience made me curious. It was a moment of wonder,” she said. “I think that is what artists and scientists have in common: the curiosity, the wonder, the need to know more, and then the experimenting toward some outcome.”
Baker’s ocean awareness works use art as a call to protect what gives us life: what she refers to as “the delicate balance of our blue-green planet.” They also serve to educate by making science more understandable to a lay audience. “Using art to educate people, especially young people, about climate change, gives me hope for this planet,” she noted.
A former artist in residence at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Baker creates paintings and multi-media installations that are inspired by combinations of research, underwater observations and observations of water drops made through a microscope. Her glass installation of more than 100 samples of plankton, some mutating due to climate change, is currently on exhibit at the Bigelow Laboratory.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. UNE’s Campus Center is located at 11 Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, Maine. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, contact Diane Noble by email or phone (207-284-6394).