- On the Nature of Fire, 65" H x 85" W Embroidery on silk, velvet. Fires of Change: the art of fire science is an artist/scientist project that explores how fire as an ecosystem process is impacted by climate change and societal development.
- detail of On the Nature of Fire
- Turning Green , 32" L x 52" W Embroidery on silk, velvet and brocade explans data about the melting of Greenland's glaciers.
- Phantom Ranch Quadrangle, 27" H x 22" W Collage on paper; transfers, silk, pen and stitching on a USGS, 7.5 minute topographic map.
- Mono Lake, Brewer & the Public Trust, 43" H x 50" W Embroidery on silk of William Brewer's 1863 journal describing Mono Lake, the 1983 California Supreme Court decision, and prediversion, target and current lake levels.
- Accelerating Antarctica, 35" L x 41" W Embroidery on silk, velvet and brocade explains the melting Antarctic ice sheets using text and data.
- Glacier Survey, 40" H x 46" W Embroidery and heat transfers of the Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park. Quotes by John Muir and Israel Russell
- Ice Phenology, 12" H x 28" W Embroidery on silk, and velvet
- Kora (Pilgrimage), 68" H x 70" W Embroidery and transfers on velvet, silk and brocade.
- Hetch Hetchy Valley, 40"H x 48"W Heat transfers of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir drainage maps, stitching, and photographs of the history of the dam, on satin, silk, sheers and velvet. The borders are embroidered with descriptions of Hetch Hetchy Valley by John Muir and Robert Price from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and facts about the O'Shaughnessy Dam
- Muir Trail: Lakes, Peaks and Passes, 72" H x 84" W, (detail) Heat transfers of Sierra maps, painted and embroidered with trail notes from backpacking trip, photographs on satin, silk, brocade and velvet, stitched. The borders are embroidered with John Muir's descriptions of the high Sierra from the late 19th and early 20th century
- War Graph, 58"H x 70"W Embroidery and heat transfers on velvet, brocade and silk. Graph of Iraq civilian and US military deaths by year, surrounded by names of war casualties and incidents
- Convoy to Sheberghan, 50"H x 56"W Heat transfers and embroidery on satin, silk, velvet and brocade, stitched. A December 2001 massacre of POWs in Afghanistan reported by documentary film maker Jamie Doran in "Convoy of Death," and other journalists, is embroidered on the velvet and brocades
- Wedding Party Massacre, 40"H x 60-83"W, Embroidery with hand and machine stitching on a satin wedding skirt with sheer fabric and netting. The skirt and inner netting was smashed under the machine's presser foot during the process, creating a flattened skirt. When viewed against a light source, the folds and multiple skirt layers are visible. The back is covered with sheer fabrics so the bobbin stitching is visible from the back. It is hand quilted. It can be installed against a wall or suspended from the ceiling in the middle of a room. The text is from a May 2004 incident in which 45-47 civilians were killed at a wedding party in western Iraq. (Text used with permission of The Guardian of London.)
- Of Bogs & Benthos, 52" H x 72" W Lake chemistry explained with embroidery & transfers on satin, silk, velvet and brocade
I use embroidery to investigate cultural and environmental issues. Mixing a variety of source materials such as scientific data and early explorer’s journals, I stitch words and phrases on velvet and silk fabrics to make large narrative wall hangings. My recent projects examine geophysical climate issues. Instigated by a series of collaborations with scientists, I began to look for simple explanations for some of the important principles in climate and environmental science to use in my projects. The artist/scientist interactions are invaluable for interpreting and extracting key concepts and clarifying their context and relevance.
Wilderness experiences inform my work. Lengthy backpacking trips are significant to integrating the impacts of wilderness, contemporary society and historical context into my artistic process. Using Victorian crazy quilts and primitive samplers as a point of departure, my artwork provides a novel opportunity for the consideration of current events and ethical questions.
Bonnie Peterson has received four individual artist grants from the Illinois Arts Council, a grant from the Illinois Committee, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and other awards. She was an Artist-In-Residence at Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Isle Royale, and Crater Lake National Parks. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC, the National Park Service, private collections, and she has an extensive exhibition record. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana and an MBA from DePaul University.