Albedo is a technical term indicating the ability of a surface to reflect radiation. It’s most often seen in descriptions of astronomical objects. Factors such as vegetation and forestation affect the Earth’s albedo. Earth’s albedo affects how much radiation and heat are reflected back out into space, and thus plays a role in climate and in maintaining our blue inhabitable planet.
In a series on trees as symbols of life and ecological interconnected order, and trees as regulators and indicators of ecological order and well-being, albedo is worth considering.
Albedo was created using acrylic and glass in layers. The background was painted using several layers of short brush strokes and transparent colors. Clear tar gel (also called string gel) was used to pour the tree trunk and branches, and to swirl circular patterns emanating from the tree. Highly fluid silver acrylic paint was rubbed and brushed over the the raised smooth patterns created by the tar gel. The silver paint emphasizes the relief of the surface. Glass lenses and acrylic magnifying mirrors were added for the reflective and light manipulating leaves. They also suggest the reflective property or albedo of trees. Extruded clear and white tinted gel was used for emphasis in a final layer.