Artist Rachel Lodge Explores the Carbon Cycle at Miller Library

Imagining the Carbon Cycle with Rachel Lodge
Artist Talk on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018, 6 – 7PM

Artist Rachel Lodge will speak about her motivations for making her animation series explaining the carbon cycle and the process she used to create the art works.
The Miller Library is open until 8pm on Mondays so guests can view the exhibit before or after the lecture.

LOCATION: The Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA, 98105.


The Miller Library welcomes Rachel Lodge as our exhibitor during the month of February.

In this exhibit, Rachel Lodge explores the carbon cycle through hand-drawn, science-based images and animation excerpts that portray the flow of carbon through natural systems as well as our own fossil fuel emissions. Using simple visualizations of phenomena that are mostly too small or too large for our ordinary human perception, she explores the movement of carbon through photosynthesis, carbon cycling in the ocean (e.g., through plankton, krill, whales), exchange of carbon and oxygen through trees, even human breath and our own bodies. By bringing some of these processes more fully into imagination the exhibit invites viewers to consider themselves as carbon stewards whose actions have planetary significance.

The exhibit will also present a series of carbon-based objects including forest tree ring samples from North Cascades National Park.

Rachel began exhibiting her work in 1990. Her earlier work includes figurative and landscape painting and small painted sculpture. She began working with animations of carbon and climate-related imagery in 2014; her first animated video was created for Seattle non-profit Climate Solutions. Her artwork has appeared in group exhibitions in California and Washington, including Yosemite National Park, the Sonoma Museum of Visual Art and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Her animations have been shown at the Living Future Unconference and the Burke Museum. Her previous solo exhibit was at Edmonds Community College.

Credit: Rachel Lodge



For the past several years I have been fascinated by the carbon cycle, the planetary process that underlies both the climate system and all of life.  I’ve been experimenting with hand-drawn, science-based images and animation sequences that explore how carbon moves through natural systems via photosynthesis, carbon cycling in the ocean (e.g., through plankton, krill, whales); exchange of carbon and oxygen through trees; even the human breath and our own bodies—all phenomena that we can’t see without an imaginative assist because they are too small, too big, or too far away from us in space or in time for us to perceive directly.   I have taken some comfort from the sense of wonder and belonging in this cycle and have hoped to share that possibility with others, both adults and children.

The images displayed horizontally on the bookcases are in a sequence—they will read best if you begin where it says “Start here.”

The prints in this exhibit are all composites of images that I drew by hand and painted on paper, scanned, and then manipulated in Photoshop and/or After Effects (animation software).  Stephen Rock of Rock Studios printed the images with archival pigment inks on Entrada Rag paper.

Fire ecologist Karen Kopper and I collaborated on the the tree core display from North Cascades National Park, which derives from her research on fire histories in the Park that will better inform the Park’s fire management.

Thanks to Meredith Rivin of the Burke Museum’s Paleobotany Department for arranging the loan of fossilized leaf imprints for the exhibit.

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