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United Lizards

by Katharine Claringbould of KaLiaMosaics.

Lizards are: Left to right, top to bottom.
1. Western Green Lizard (Europe)
2. Painted Dragon (Australia)
3. Electric Blue Gecko (Tanzania, Africa)
4. Common Collared Lizard (North America)
5. Common Flat Lizard (Africa)
6. Indo-Chinese Forest Lizard (Asia)
7. Jewel Lizard (Chile, South America)


What is color to you?

Lizards can be found everywhere except a few islands in Oceana and Antartica. Their diversity of shapes, colors and sizes is phenomenal with species variations running into the thousands. In United Lizards I chose seven lizards from different geographic regions: Asia, Australia, South America, North America, Europe and Africa. They have some similarities and some differences and yet they are still just lizards wherever they are. Their colors are unique and celebrate their individuality and beauty but are not used by us to rank them in order of value.

This 16 inch x 20 inch piece rose out of a discussion I had with my significant other during the 2020 racial protests. I posed a question: Why was it that dark skin (to my knowledge) had become such a loaded color? Why not white skin or pink skin? I was thinking about the Dalits in India, the preferences for lighter skin that I see on Asian tv and about race and how that ties in with color in Western nations.

We never did answer the question satisfactorily- history does not reveal all its secrets. However at the time I was working on pieces involving lizards and I realized that lizards are very similar to us - they are everywhere, they come in all shapes and sizes and colors and yet we do not judge them by the same value system. And thus this piece was born.

With United Lizards I wanted to highlight this aspect of our characters and how we are quick to judge and rank ourselves by all manner of characteristics and yet when looking at other species we do not apply this same ranking system. Instead we celebrate them for being unique, for being different and most of all for just being them.

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