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The Fingerprint
By Haylen McKnelly
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2020 - Division III (Grades 9-12)

Our Earth, Our Home. We are a part of our planet just as it is a part of us. My subject symbolizes mother nature, but she symbolizes the human race also. This shows that if our environment suffers, as do we. The vines and leaves in her hair symbolize how nature and humans are woven together and that our world is a part of us; it is our home. My drawing symbolizes the deterioration of our environment and the current environmental war between life and death. The “death” in the drawing is centered in the head of the subject. There is red and yellow in the eyes, showing that there is a fire burning inside the subject’s head, symbolizing the Australia fires along with death in general. The thorns wrapped around the subject’s throat are cutting into her neck and causing her to bleed, further symbolizing death. If you look closely at the neck, you can see bloody fingerprints, showing that humans are what is killing the subject, mother nature. The plants are also dying and wilting as they get closer to the subject’s head, showing the movement from life toward death. The chrysanthemums are a symbol of death as well, and carnations are a symbol of life. I see my drawing causing awareness for how dire the climate crisis really is. My drawing seems dark and scary but it is reality. I can see it making people realize that something has to be done, otherwise our environment will become damaged beyond repair. However, our planet is not beyond salvation; through awareness and reform we can tip the scales from death toward life.