Erin Wiersma

Transect 211: C3C (JPW) 4/19/2018, 2018
Transect 240: SPA (KKP) 5/7/2018, 2018
Transect 2018 084 SpB (Deep), 2018

Char and soil on paper

For tens of thousands of years, tallgrass prairie was the primary landscape of the American Midwest until plow farming, the extermination of bison, and decimation of Native American tribes that followed European settlement fundamentally altered the ecosystem. Tallgrass prairie once extended from present-day Indiana westward into Kansas; Illinois is still referred to as “the Prairie State” despite the fact that only one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) of the original tallgrass prairie remains. During annual managed burns of Konza prairie in Kansas, artist Erin Wiersma draws from and with this tallgrass fire landscape. Transect 2018 084 SpB (Deep) is one of Wiersma’s “wind works” created by placing large sheets of paper on the freshly burned ground and allowing the wind to move it across the burnt grass stems. In this way, Wiersma’s portraits of the prairie index and record the dynamic relationship between the land, plants, air, and people.

Courtesy of Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO.

After the Burn, 2019

10:02 mins