Copper with blue patina, enameled copper, fishing line, and steel wire
Aneesha Zunker, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
In Collaboration with Tim Campbell, Aquatic Invasive Species Project Manager, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant
The emphasis put on the word “invasive” in the phrase “aquatic invasive species” caught Aneesha Zunker’s attention right away and her water partner and her spent a great amount of time discussing the impact that word has on our perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors concerning species that fit into this category. Language, as it turns out, plays a major role in determining what we see as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and during the collaboration, they discussed how these species are ultimately just animals that got misplaced in one way or another.
Zunker chose to trap all of the animals with fishing line in the webbed design she created because of the recurring thoughts she had regarding the ‘victim’ or ‘villain’ status we assigned to these species. While the nonnative species are each causing some level of harm to their environment, they only ended up here in our Great Lakes due to human behavior and not an act of war against our native species. She gained a strange sense of sympathy for these species that she formerly thought of as destructive and instead want to direct her energy to efforts aimed towards educating others on this issue and creating sensible solutions to it.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Aneesha Zunker’s work with jewelry, metals, and sculptural pieces revolves around organic shapes that play around with both its environment as well as with itself. They’re captivated by pieces that transform their environment into a new ecosystem of sorts. Their creative process always starts with researching topics that are unfamiliar or not artistic and work to transform the topic into something creative. They value the process just as much, if not more, than the final product. Aneesha currently lives and works in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
ABOUT THE Water Partner
Tim Campbell joined the Wisconsin Sea Grant Advisory Services team in 2011. Campbell engages communities, organizations, local government officials and other coastal stakeholder groups and helps them incorporate aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention actions into their existing activities.
He also works closely with the numerous professionals working on AIS issues in Wisconsin to coordinate education and outreach efforts.