"Never Going Back to the Zoo", Michaela Marr

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Michaela Marr is a 23 year old environmental technician working for a Native American tribe in Northern California. Although she has pursued a career in the environmental sector, her passions are deeply rooted in art (whether it be cartography, acrylic painting, or non-digital collage). As a recent graduate with a degree in Physical and Environmental Geography, she particularly enjoys creating surreal collages that are intersected with the Earth’s physiography—whether it be experimenting with different topographic landscapes, or simply by including planet Earth in the background of a scene.

The non-digital collage below is titled “Never Going Back to the Zoo” because her initial vision for the piece was a family of tigers escaping Earth and human-made confinements, once and for all. However, after completing the piece, she realized that she wasn’t so sure: perhaps the tigers were actually returning to a future Earth where society values natural habitat preservation over viewing a magnificently wild animal in captivity. Nonetheless, it is at this point that she invites the viewer to interpret the piece individually. Are the tigers refugees of planet Earth, or are they simply returning home?

More of Michaela's breathtaking work can be found via her Instagram page @oldcollagetry.

"I think Earth Day is about much more than just being conscious of your carbon footprint. It’s about awakening your sense of connectedness with all living and abiotic existences on Earth, and respecting the harmony in which energy flows through each of these complex systems. The life of a tiger on the other side of the world can be affected by the lifestyle and consumer choices we make on any given day. When you start from a place of selfless realization, you become mindful of the magnitude your actions hold within Earth’s carefully woven fabric of life."