First Person 

A monthly feature from the perspective of the artist

Judith White Marcellini

My artworks, on view in the Bio-Genesis exhibit, are inspired by real animals that lived on earth 540 million years ago (a time called the Cambrian period). These creatures appeared relatively suddenly and there were an astounding variety of them.  (Scientists call their appearance the Cambrian Explosion.) They were probably the first multi-celled creatures on earth.  Before that time, for billions of years, evidence exists for only microbial life.

Most of these Cambrian animals were quite small, but well preserved in mud that formed into shale. And we do not know their colors. I made my sculptures larger than life and colored them as my imagination led me.

Many Cambrian creatures were unrelated to any animal now living! Some kinds did evolve into animals on earth today, but many groups became extinct and disappeared forever.

Discovery of these animals originally came from their fossils in a rocky outcrop known as the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. Specimens were collected in the early 20th century, but then intensely studied fifty years later, as technology made observation more precise. At the same time more fossils were found elsewhere in the world, leading scientists to believe that the earth’s oceans were filled with these creatures.

Judith will be exhibiting her paper sculptures in March. Opening reception March 8, 2018

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