Environment is a term that creates no pictures in the mind… George Monbiot
Working at the intersection of nature, human activity and decision making, I seek to expand and integrate all three “parts” into a holistic foundation. To move from indifference and denial to engaged and effective action, I research history, science, learning methods and communication with an emphasis on profligate waste.
My artistic practice combines a spare aesthetic with a sincere use of materials and rigorous methodology to create narratives that resonate with synergy between idea, material and technique. I choose to work with a limited palette and a restricted vocabulary of natural materials, found objects and then edit to the essential elements.
Three years ago a series of circumstances forever changed the trajectory of my work:
- Researching resource extraction—primarily for energy.
- Scouring thrift stores for electric frying pans—to melt beeswax for my work.
- While cobbling together a base for a maquette with leftover rigid foam and toothpicks I pinned an old sheet over my odd trapezoid—then stitched tightly around the edge. Though desperate to be done with this tedious task of hand-sewing—I was forced to slow down and observe—so perceived that this rigid foam retrieved from the trash had been transformed.
There is something important in this process - pay attention.
I couldn't envision a future of sewing sheets around strangely shaped chunks of rigid foam, but my need to explore this activity brought to mind a few things on their way to recycling. Could I encase the electric fryer with cloth and stitches? The wok? Iron? Thus I found myself back at the thrift stores gathering more discarded small appliances.
The single-use plastic containers in the recycling bin then called out to me. Though I already had plenty to explore, I realized that the issue of single-use plastic is a problem equal to, if not a greater hazard.
What was I doing?
Reading, I learned that for centuries, we honoured and prepared our dead for burial by washing their bodies and enshrouding them in linen. That time past had a different ethos, we and everything we made was reclaimed by the earth.
Now I enshroud an iota of the remains of our rapacious consumer culture and our rapidly redundant technology. I honour them as individuals while acknowledging the sacrifice that is required for their manufacture and disposal, and to manifest the burden we continue to create for ourselves and the future.