My art transforms toxic refuse into evocative objects of abstract seduction, that bring a sense of beauty to environmentally devastating situations and arouse cognitive dissonance in viewers. Since 2005, I have made sculptures and drawings which respond to the by products of our society’s rampant consumerism. My aim is for the work to incite both a sense of pleasure and a disturbing awareness of the degradation of our oceans, land and bodies. This engaging visual experience will support change in viewers' behaviors. My involvement with the recently-formed group, Organizing for Plastic Alternatives, has both channelled some energy towards finding practical solutions to these problems, as well as increased awareness of my own problematic behaviors.
My work is a dialogue of oppositions. Since 1992, I have worked primarily as a materials-based sculptor, combining natural and manufactured materials to represent dualities such as hard/soft, masculine/feminine or ephemeral/enduring. In recent years my art practice has evolved to include drawing, utilizing processes that are both digital and analog, incorporating conventional drawing materials with computer-manipulated images. The drawings also contrast figuration and abstraction.
By using mundane and utilitarian materials, images of plastic products or computer detritus, I show viewers my, and their, complicity in contributing to climate change, while making visually intriguing works. I am attracted to the physical qualities embodied in this waste, which provide a rich range of possibilities for transformation into both 2-D and 3-D forms. I am excited by the work of artists like Diana Cohen, Aaditi Joshi and El Anatsui in the way they bring a strong formal sense to their use of repurposed materials.
A recent work, Plastic Bags In Water 5, combines my drawing and sculpture into a single work, and occupies a space somewhere between drawing, sculpture and installation. I drew on top of a digitally created and printed image with both conventional drawing mediums, such as pastel and charcoal, and unconventional ones like torn plastic bags. The bags flow off the wall and onto the floor. The piece also incorporates a sculptural form which both extends more aggressively into the viewers’ space.
This path of inquiry, to combine mediums, forms the basis of a new piece, Water Bottle Drawing. I manipulated a photograph of one of my older sculptures then printed it on four cloth panels. I drew on the panels with pastel. It is the first element of a work which will ultimately include a sculpture/installation built from plastic water bottles.
Complicit 6 Months and Complicit 8 Months are 2 completed columns of the five planned. The two completed columns is made from my household’s discarded plastic trash. I Completion is dependent on the volume of my plastic waste. My goal is to have each column take longer to create as I reduce my plastic consumption.