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A picture of the after version of the Staghorn Coral Love Letter panel.

As a marriage of material studies and the written word, Love Letters follows the conceptual thread of my last several years’ work. Allowing and actually encouraging these stitched images and writings to disintegrate as a trope for extinction made sense to me in theory. In practice, I was far less eager to destroy them. Photographing first did at least mitigate my attachment.
         But I also found myself wondering uneasily: might my hand in the destruction of these objects reflect my participation in the very collapse I have meant to illustrate? Undoubtedly, my everyday life contributes to the earth’s decline. I take remedial measures, and learn from those who do more and work harder. Like Penelope here, I have undone that which I have woven, hoping to buy time. And with our current administration set to reverse the undermining of the Endangered Species Act imposed by the former, I am moved once again by its promise of grace.

- Valerie Constantino

                                                                        Staghorn Coral (after)


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