In creating the series of works Refuse?REFUSE, I want to create consciousness; I want people to think about how many plastic items they use once and then throw away. I want to create awareness of ways in which they may reduce it. I want to highlght how as a society we are unthinkingly careless with plastic and we are already paying a price.
Do you know how many zeros there are in a Trillion? - I didn’t. While I was investigating plastic pollution in our oceans, I kept coming up against these huge numbers that I couldn’t really comprehend. I looked it up - 12 zeros - that's huge and equates to mountains of toxic poison pills floating in our seas. The plastic pollution situation has grown out of control - the sea now hides trillions of micro plastics virtually unseen to the human eye, but it's being eaten by plankton and working its way up the seafood chain to our plates. We have barely reduced any of our plastic footprint since production began 50 years ago -- all we've done is merely pushed plastic trash into to our seas and landfill.
I worked with Chevy Chase Elementary School MD involving the children/teachers and parents in collecting bottle caps for the installation in their hall of number ‘500,000,000’ - single use bottles used weekly in USA. To further educate our children for their futures.
Images Refuse?REFUSE 1T -
I created the number one trillion 1,000,000,000 using straws and fish I’d bastardised with single use plastic. I wanted viewers to see the play between balance of ugly/beautiful. Will the tensions of pretty to squeamish haunt people enough to rethink their world?
Info source - https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/12/
Images further down of Refuse?REFUSE35B+
After being offered the Pod Space at Visarts MD I upped my game. The 26M window inspired me to go large - 35 Billion+ was created out of plastic lids collected by over 120 people locally plus schools, gyms, cafes and restaurants. The number represents the minimum amount of single use plastic bottle used yearly in USA. When I started this project the number was 35 Billion, now its 50 Billion according to banthebottle, Forbes, earthday.org. I added the ‘+’ sign to show that whatever the number is its huge and unsustainable.
'Will she rise again?' Installation performed at Red Dirt studios PG and Cafritz Art Center MD.
Drawing from the theme of the Phoenix emerging whole from the flames of the fire, Little questions the ability to keep rising in face of diasaster - Will she rise again? speaks of cleansing with fire, ambiance of smoke, sound and smell, ashes blowing away in the wind till the wings to escape are left standing, a monument to mankind's durabilty.
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All images used with permission from Anna Wahlgren.