Christina Conklin is an artist, researcher, and writer who lives in Half Moon Bay, California. Much of her work concerns the ocean as both site and metaphor, in the context of ongoing climatic and cultural change. A one-time religious studies major, she thinks a lot about the intersection of belief systems and natural systems as they converge and conflict on time scales ranging from the geologic to the genealogic.
She is a little obsessed with salt. At the moment she has two fresh grey whale bones curing in her garage, along with various articles of moss-encrusted clothing collected out of local streams.
Christina Conklin is an artist, writer, and researcher whose work focuses on developing public dialogue at the intersection of climate and culture. In 1990, she received a B.A. cum laude in religious studies and studio art from Middlebury College, followed by a Thomas B. Watson Fellowship to study the Gaelic language and culture in Scotland. There she worked with local activists and artists, documenting the traditions of an ancient culture struggling to adapt to modernity.
Christina returned to her native Portland, Oregon, where she worked in the publishing and non-profit sectors for a decade. Having learned to weave in high school, she continued to pursue her passion for the textile arts throughout her twenties, studying dyeing, printing, and stitching techniques with leading teachers. Upon moving to the San Francisco area in 1998, she became a full-time textile artist, showing in regional and national craft exhibitions. During her thirties, she traveled widely to Japan, Sierra Leone, India, Jamaica, China, Thailand, and Australia, and also lived in Amsterdam for two years, writing freelance articles on Continental textile artists and traditions, while raising young children.
In 2012, she entered a Master’s of Fine Arts program in textiles at California College of the Arts, where she made ephemeral works that lay at the crossroads of scientific experiment and contemplative practice, e.g. dripping water from burettes onto salt blocks to leave verdigris prints on copper plates, or walking up streambeds to document and archive the human detritus lodged therein. Her thesis, Immanence: Reconsidering the Spiritual in Art, explored process philosophy and systems theory as frameworks for an open “trialogue” between three ways of knowing: art, science, and spiritual inquiry.
Christina’s award-winning work has been exhibited in the US, Japan, and Hong Kong, and her writings have been published in US and European textile art magazines. Her most recent exhibition, Worlds in the Making: New Ecological Rituals, at the University of San Francisco, presented interactive artworks through which visitors could explore their personal accountability regarding climate change. In one piece, “Carbon Confessional,” the public entered a recycled cardboard booth to write an appraisal of their relationship with the climate, while in another, “Mappamundi,” Christina collaborated with professors over the course of a year to engage students in conversations about ecological change that were then recorded on a 13’, hand-stitched map of the university campus.
Christina lives in Half Moon Bay, California with her husband and two children. They have vowed never to move farther from the ocean, only closer to it, which leaves them a long, but very narrow, shoreline along which to roam.