Dianne Bennett’s current series of reverential portraits of birds and other wild beings are painted on salvaged road signs celebrating and advocating for the diversity of flora, fauna, and unspoiled terrain native to the Mojave desert. Subjects are set against abstract landscapes layered with graffitied symbols and language decrying the encroachment brought by human folly and greed, resulting in habitat destruction crucial to threatened species of desert plants and animals. As a message to the future, they are created as an offering and a timely warning to STOP and ask ourselves what is sacred and what is disappearing before our very eyes.
“Living in the Mojave Desert at the end of a dirt road with the birds, Joshua trees, coyotes, and other wild residents, I watch their daily struggle for survival even in the best of circumstances. Since the Coronavirus quarantine began, Jackrabbits have become gurus, hummingbird guides, and quail council. But, unfortunately, their existence is threatened now as never before as pressure on the Morongo basin that surrounds Joshua Tree National Park accelerates in every direction. As native species of plants and animals disappear from our desert and world at an unprecedented rate, my work honors, and advocates for what remains.”