I was an environmentalist long before I became a mosaicist. So, when I started making mosaics, it made sense to me to be putting materials that had been previously used and discarded to a second life. When it makes sense, I also try to work in some of my thoughts and feelings about the topic, while keeping in mind that people rarely like to be hit over the head with other people's opinions. It's a tough balance to keep, and my sense of balance is not sharp to begin with . . . but I try!
Climate change in particular terrifies me, and has since it first really began to be evident to me, in the 1990s, that we were globally digging ourselves--rapidly and relatively obliviously--into a watery grave. I’ve embarked on a series of mosaics expressing some aspects of climate change—now elevated to a genuine crisis.
At the same time, still obsessed with wastefulness and consumption, I collect and reuse all the trash I can. The plastic pieces I feature here include only plastic that I have personally used (e.g., bottlecaps, printer cartridge sealers) or that I collected while walking around the area where I live (specifically the “nips” bottles—fear not, I didn’t consume the contents of all those!).
The past few years have not only dramatically worsened our collective situation on the only planet we have. They have also revealed on center stage the massive inequality and injustice with which we treat our fellow humans, and the repelling forces of anger and intolerance with which we all react under such circumstances.
I hope you will be able to connect with something here.
Top row:The River Has a Little Drinking Problem features more than fifty "nips" that regularly litter the banks of the Mystic River in eastern Massachusetts. Maria: Eye of the Storm interrogates the simultanous beauty and horror of increasingly severe and more frequent weather events in our time of climate crisis. Bottom row: On the Horns of a Disaster considers greed and its influence on the environment. Climate Change 1: Drought uses baked sand-colored ceramic tile pieces for the unyielding, infertile land that is taking over many parts of the world as climate change accelerates and regular rainfall becomes a mere memory.
Epinephelus plasticus (Bottlecap Grouper): Made entirely from plastic discards. What familiar plastic objects can you find?