Reflecting on the Anthropocene

When I first learned about the proposed idea of the Earth entering a new geological epoch, transitioning from the Holocene to the Anthropocene, I was fascinated to be alive during a time witnessing a shift in a timescale that spans thousands of years. (The Holocene started 11,700 years ago after the Ice Age.) The Anthropocene Epoch, an unofficial unit of geologic time, describes the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity began to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems, starting around 150 years ago with the Great Acceleration.

Delving further into the concept of the Anthropocene, I encountered numerous discussions about reflecting on humanity’s ability to create systems that respect the laws of nature and align with its abundance, rather than relying on forced control and depletion. Regardless of whether we have scientifically altered the geology of the Earth through human activity, socially, we are due for an awakening that recognizes our interconnectedness with nature. The sooner we act within this framework, the more hopeful the outlook for future generations.

The inspiration for “Microcosm” comes from a quote by geologist Jan Zalasiewicz: “The Anthropocene represents a new phase in the history of both humankind and the Earth when natural forces and human forces become intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other.” Iris flowers, frequently featured in historical still life paintings, have long symbolized hope. These delicate blooms carry a message that extends beyond their petals. 

Microcosm, Graphite and charcoal on paper, 23″x 25″

Hope, a driving force within us, serves as the catalyst for progress—a force that propels us towards a future that is not just brighter for us, but for all living beings and the Earth itself.

In a world where our actions ripple across ecosystems and echo through time, the threads of fate are tightly interwoven. We recognize that the choices we make today resonate into the tomorrows of the planet.

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