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Pacific Northwest

Gioia Kuss | Oregon/Washington, United States

Seattle View:
Seattle is home to one of the busiest ports in the US. Driving through the city on an interstate highway, cargo containers are juxtaposed seemingly alongside modern highrises. The port, partially owned by Chinese interests, supports import and export trade, 70% of which ends or starts outside of the region. Global commerce weaves places and people together. The ideal of interconnected economies and working together for a better world is tainted by competition, unsustainable extractive means of growth, income disparity, and environmental pollution.

For the first time in three years, I traveled—to the Pacific Northwest (PNW), USA. Venturing beyond the place I inhabited during Covid, it was a time to wonder; to try to sew together what I read about occurring—in a most fractious time, to how it appears; to document it. I pick cues from the physical landscape and its visible inhabitants.

During springtime, I experienced full blooming magnolias in the valleys and skiing in Cascade Range alpine areas, which to a casual observer could look like winter. There are other dichotomies; this region has seen its share of friction, trauma, and loss recently, from early covid tragedy to riots as well as disparities within populations, fires, and resource extraction. As a gateway to America from Asia, western ports are open, as they have been for millennia; at the western edge of colonial—settler America, territory parcelization in the PNW is still grander than on the east coast. Land and nature will heal if our species ceases to exist, so too it seems to absorb our transgressions, albeit more slowly as the scale of assault increases.

Gioia Kuss is a photographer, printmaker, multimedia installation artist, and environmental justice advocate. She visually interprets how she feels alive within a world of contradictions and beauty. Using artistic mediums and an affinity for ethnoecology, her narratives engage the viewer to find personal and cultural references.  She investigates and documents the way human society communicates through built physical structures and perceived metaphysical realms as well as how the natural world presents itself. Gioia seeks harmonized support for human dignity and celebration of the planet’s sanctity. Her home studio is in rural Vermont where she gardens and engages with her community, yet her travels, work, and interests have taken her to 50 countries and provided opportunities within myriad business sectors.

She pursued undergraduate scientific studies focused on the circumpolar north in botany, geology, ecology, and sociology, with fine art study in printmaking and the performing arts. Her master’s work explored collaborative community projects, which employed ecological design and human centric solutions to create safe and harmonious environments. Speaking other languages helps in her quest to understand different cultural and natural environments. She studied independently in Paris France and in Guang Zhou China. She was an adjunct faculty in the Green Mountain College Art Department.

Gioia Kuss

www.gioiakuss.com

gioiakk@gmail.com

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