About the Artist
Jess Bugg is a multidisciplinary artist and naturalist based in Austin, TX. She blends her passion for wildlife conservation with a love of visual art and storytelling. She graduated summa cum laude from The Savannah College of Art and Design. Her BA is in Visual Communication with a concentration in Photography and Art History. Jess is currently earning her masters in Nature-Culture-Sustainability-Studies at RISD. Her areas of study include the climate crisis, ecological grief, speciesism and the relationship between art and environmental activism.
My current work is an exploration of ecological grief and the isolation associated with life in the Anthropocene. Grief is an expected aspect of life, it’s part of living a life that ends. It’s necessary to grieve, without it, we would not know gratitude. Grieving the loss of the natural world is harder to define, how do we as human beings grieve what we are in the midst of losing? How do we grieve what we so deeply depend on for life and that which is ingrained in our DNA? How do we grieve what we (as humans) are causing? And how can we move past feelings of helplessness and turn our grief into gratitude, a form of stewardship that expresses our loss while celebrating what is still here? Empty, abstract landscapes focus on the earth without us, reimagining the natural landscape as the central focus rather than a resource for human consumption. In addition to acrylic paint, experimentation with pigments created from soil, ash, tea, and stone give the pieces a sense of collaboration with the environment and represent the possible reciprocal relationship between human beings and the earth. By focusing on natural world, I hope to create space for meditation and grief as well as inspire environmental stewardship.