The central image of this poster comes from one of John August Swanson’s earliest sgraffito paintings, completed in 1969. A sgraffito is a crayon painting made by placing down many different colored layers of crayon, and then scratching through those layers to reveal a different colors, depending on how deeply the surface is scratched. Swanson would revisit the story in a serigraph edition, several years later.
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and many articles on the dangers of climate change inspired Swanson to revisited the story of Noah’s Ark in 2016. He wanted to underline the connections between the messages of environmental protection that come from science, from religion, and from ethical philosphy. The text in the poster is taken from Pope Francis, and from Kevin J. O’Brien’s book, An Ethics of Biodiversity.