Zoe Keller - Old Growth
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Graphite on Paper, 60"x45”
This piece was created for Zoe Keller's 2018 feature show at Antler Gallery "Forest"
‘Old Growth’ depicts thirty-four species found in the old growth forests of the Klamath-Siskiyou region of southwest Oregon and northwest California. The piece revolves around a Douglas Fir snag, a standing dead tree that provides vital habitat, covered in old growth specific mosses and lichens. A rare Pacific Fisher and its young den in the hollow tree. In the distance a federally threatened Marbled Murrelet flies towards its nest with food for its chicks. A Northern Goshawk sits poised over a captured Steller’s Jay, and two young Northern Spotted Owls huddle, not yet aware of their favorite prey species just below: a Northern Flying Squirrel, busily searching for the truffles that grow in symbiosis with Doug Fir roots. Poised above the fishers, a climate threatened Hermit Warbler forages in the forest canopy and two highly-specialized, arboreal Red Tree Voles feed on Doug Fir needles. A tangle of discarded needle resin ducts lies beside the Northern Flying Squirrel, providing a tell-tale sign of the voles’ presence in the forest canopy. A male Sooty Grouse flares its feathers in a mating display atop a nurse log bursting with ferns, mosses, fungi and beetles. The forest floor is rich with life: a Yellow Spotted Millipede, Pacific Golden Chanterelles, Western Sword Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Clustered Lady Slipper, and the parasitic Candy Stripe. A Varied Thrush is caught mid-scratch, searching for food among the litter. Along the water’s edge, boldly patterned rocks indicate the region’s rich geology, and three fragile creatures represent the Klamath-Siskiyou’s fascinating amphibians: from left to right, an endemic Siskiyou Mountain Salamander, an endemic Scott’s Bar Salamander and Southern Torrent Salamander. Among submerged pebbles, Coho salmon eggs hatch and grow from alevins to fry to parr, heading eventually towards the sea. In the distance, the Klamath River weaves its way among rocky shores and riparian forest edges.