Early colonial-era photographs, etchings and drawings of Javanese landscapes inspired this body of work as well as the true story of the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 and the resulting tsunami. During Backues’ 18 years of living on the island of Java in the Indonesian archipelago, she lived in various places and in every place there was a volcano looming nearby. Java is one of the most geologically active places on earth and has one of the highest percentages of people living near active volcanoes. Where there are active volcanoes, there is the possibility for unbelievable destruction. Yet in spite of the volcanoes’ foreboding presence, people want to live on or near these beautiful fire mountains because they also bring so much goodness and fertility to the soil. They are believed to be holy bringing vengeance and justice to the world. Volcanoes make for good metaphors.
Stay in Touch
Sign up to receive news about the PCC Art Collection at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.