Seeded in environmental advocacy, my eclectic series Plasticity branches out in both aesthetics and processes. Reclaiming and recycling refuse is an animating factor in my practice and, in Plasticity. I focus on working hands-on with may own "would be" trash. These tactile objects and painted images speak to the narrative of the plastic product's life-journey on land and in water.
Printmaking, painting, and sewing play an important role in how my works are created, and are implemented in unique ways across the series. For instance, as well as sewing plastic into the forms of animals, I discovered I could transfer ink (such as the logo from a plastic bag) onto my canvas surfaces using a heat application, resulting in a collage effect. On vellum, loosely-painted, gently-rendered figures “carry” a piled-up collection of scraps. Lastly, underwater paintings give a blurry, submerged view of the sky, seen through a body of water. It’s as though we are lying on the bottom of a pond, looking upward while completely immersed, and experiencing the point of view of a small aquatic creature. Inspired by Monet’s water lily paintings, I bring a light and idyllic quality to these pieces, but on closer inspection we perceive the outline of a plastic bag floating in the water above.
Each piece in this series radiates from the same incubating theme of raising awareness about our relationship to our environment. I am interested in what happens in places like North America, where trash is conveniently whisked away, removed from sight and piled up “elsewhere”. Inevitably, people have become disconnected from the type of objects discarded, as well as from the volume of trash created. Plasticity presents a visual reminder to reconnect the viewer to an environmental problem that fundamentally feels overwhelming. I use these artworks to shine a light on what we have swept under the rug in order to ask if we can adapt our thinking about how we use and dispose of plastic.