title. The Sentinel
date. Jan 12- Jan 31, 2019
city. The Box Gallery, West Palm Beach FL
size. Variable upon installation
installation view, 2019
concern with environmental issues and understanding of wildlife’s importance in our lives is fundamental part of Diane Arrieta’s body of work. She has a BFA in Ceramic Sculpture from Florida Atlantic University and a MSc in Wildlife Health from the University of Edinburgh. These two disciplines are smoothly syncretized in her work, although she uses a variety of media apart from ceramics. In observing her work, Sentinel, it is difficult to miss the references to the Disney version of Snow White, a coming-of-age tale first documented by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812. In this particular work a meerkat stands guard next to the young girl, begging the thought of switching their roles: Our future planet in the hands of our young. In our current sociocultural moment of awakening, it is quite fitting that the sculpture is a girl.
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The Sentinel [detail]. mixed media ceramic, 2019
Concept sketch, Oct. 2018
A sentinel, is a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch. Meerkats are very social animals. Always on guard for predators, one or more meerkats stand sentry, to warn others of approaching dangers. Meerkats also babysit the young in the group. On warning of danger, the babysitter takes the young underground to safety.
In a society growing more violent, we need sentinels to protect our children. Conversely in a world with shrinking habitat and animal protections, the children will have to be sentinels for the animals. As our generation is failing at protecting the wild.
The child and the meerkats are protecting each other.