“Anything can be art, all you have to do is change your mind.” ~ John Cage
Using a plastic bottle or a cardboard cereal box to fashion something beyond its intended purpose transforms what was once discarded and devalued by changing the familiar into something that has new possibilities.
I create my work out of plastic bags, deli containers, and bottles; coated cardboard food packaging; cellophane liners from cereal boxes; foil peel away lids; used dryer sheets; and anything else I would have to recycle or throw away. Through exploration and discovery I allow this material to teach me what it can and cannot do. I don’t hide its true nature but try to enhance it with subtle suggestion of the inherent qualities within until it can no longer be considered “trash”.
Finding this quote in a book about the artist John Cage reminded me of a ‘trash project’ assigned to our 3-D Imaging class, spring semester 2011. When I began collecting both recyclable and non-recyclables for the project, I was amazed at the amount I quickly accumulated. And magnified billions of times around the world it felt suffocating (I’m a very visual thinker). Over the summer I read, surfed, and watched many documentaries not only about trash and ecology, but also concerning the areas of the world that have been ‘harvested’ of their natural resources…. always at the detriment of the people who occupied the land within the countries from which these resources were taken. Corporations that saw HUGE profits without having to return much to the people have been negligent, often criminally, leaving the people with consequences of extraction processes that left their homeland so polluted they were contaminated with carcinogens or forced to leave their already impoverished existence and try to start over. The policies of these companies have not evolved and there is continued destruction. Three questions have been haunting me…
Where does it lead?
Where does it end?
When is it going to be too late?