Economies

Repurposed sisal rope, discarded cotton carpet warp

30"x30"x2"

2018

"ECONOMIES"

I was invited to provide work for an exhibit, "Considering the Circle" guest curated by a friend and artist Carole Harmel.  This piece was created while I was attempting to navigate myself through a bit of an existential crisis. I was - I still am grieving over our society's attitude regarding waste.

I was experiencing a lot of guilt and anxiety over how much waste I was producing, and where that waste would ultimately end up.

I think we've probably all seen the video of the sea turtle with the straw stuck up its nose, or heard of the great pacific garbage patch, or seen the heartbreaking images of dead seabirds with bellies full of plastic.

Then China began refusing to take our "recycling" and the UN released their IPCC report that basically stated that we have 11 years to get our act together as a planet before we do irreparable damage to it. 

I was panicking every night, going to bed trying not to freak out about the fact that the only planet I ever want to live on may not remain habitable for me, or my loved ones. 

I'd been doing my best to do my part - finally remembering to take my reusable grocery bags to the store on every shopping trip (why is it so hard to remember!?). I haven't bought bottled water since 2016. I take public transport when I can. I voted.

It still seemed so overwhelming. I was feeling angry and betrayed by politicians and my government, wondering when (if ever) new policies and infrastructure would be put into place. I was asking myself how much worse things would have to get before enough somebodies do enough somethings?

I was doing a lot of reading at the time, and in my research for the exhibition, I came across the idea of a circular economy. It is a beautiful system aimed at moving away from our current linear economy: take, make, use, dispose, i.e. a dead end. A circular economy offers a sustainable alternative. It is a closed-loop system that is geared toward maximizing resources and minimizing waste.

In 2017, The World Economic Forum partnering with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and partners launched PACE: Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy.

It was a welcome read.

I could ramble on about how strongly I feel about every single one of us TRYING to do something, but I won't.

I could also lay on some artsy drivel about how this work represents my feelings regarding the above. I won't do that either.

"Economies" was cathartic. I completely destroyed my hands during its production, but the brutal physicality of handling the materials brought about some pretty significant emotional healing. An exorcism of my dejected state if you will.