My body of work explores various global environmental issues, aiming to raise awareness.
The pieces reflect the negative human impact on the environment, such as pollution and climate change. Some of the works also illustrate the beauty of nature in order to remind the audience why we must protect it.
Within my work I experimented using college, ceramics, metal wire, and paint, always trying to find innovative and interesting ways to portray my message. Additionally, I worked with discarded objects when possible to reduce my personal waste during the process and make my artwork more sustainable. An example of this is one of my main pieces, Mountains/Landfills, which I created using old magazines and photos I took of trash to represent land pollution and our waste's effect on the natural environment. My series of sculptures, Bleached, displays one of the consequences of climate change, ocean acidification, which causes corals to lose their color and die. The main source of these environmental issues is humans' fixation on using plastic in such large amounts. Thus, I created Altered DNA using plastic to portray the interconnected relationship we now have with plastic.
For each of my pieces I have taken an approach to first research ongoing environmental issues and find images that represent them and then look at existing art to inspire me. The artist Tony Cragg is one of the main inspirations. His use of found objects was the reason for which I used discarded objects in my pieces. Additionally, his texture based ceramics helped me develop my own various textures for my ceramic series. For my more abstract work, such as Burned, I drew inspiration from Barnett Newman who creates iconic minimalist vertical paintings for my own minimalist trees.
For the exhibition, I was given a room for myself to set up my body of work. There is one entrance so I was able to control in what order the viewers will see my pieces. Beside the door I hung up my largest piece, Burned, so that it would not overshadow the other pieces. Next to that I placed my black bird sculpture which is one of my most visually shocking pieces. Opposite to the entrance I hung up my most important piece, Landfills/Mountains, which is a good representation of what the rest of the artworks are about. I hung up 40-100 years beside the Textile Portrait, as the Textile Portrait is an example of how textiles can be upcycled instead of ending up in the landfill and decomposing which is what 40-100 years illustrates. In the center of the room I placed my ceramic coral series on a white box so that the viewers can see the shapes and textures of the ceramics from different angles and also have an aerial perspective of the series. I took advantage of the low ceiling to hang my DNA sculpture, from nylon threads allowing it to spin, complementing its spiral shape.
I hope that by portraying these environmental issues visually, the audience, no matter where they are from, are able to understand the detrimental effect that we are having on the environment. The goal of my body of work was to create art pieces that evoke a shock from the audience so that they would reflect on their role in these environmental issues and want to help end them.
Altered DNA (December 2021)
92 x 24 cm
Altered DNA portrays the interconnected relationship we have developed with the use of plastic. Due to our overconsumption of plastic that we dispose of in the ocean, we end up ingesting microplastic through seafood, which studies have shown will alter our DNA in the future. This is shown by the plastic that is invading the metal DNA helix wire. The techniques used to secure the wire in place were inspired by Alexander Calder methods of creating his wire sculptures.
Light (December, 2021)
Acrylic paint on Canvas
A photorealistic painting, derived from my own photograph of a plant. Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s Oriental Poppies oil on canvas Painting, my piece has a similar color scheme of yellows, oranges, reds. Oriental Poppies is a realistic close up of nature, as is my painting. The purpose of this piece is to show the details of nature.
Mountains/Landfills (April, 2021)
103 x 150cm
Mountains/Landfills is made up of photographs of nature from magazines, and black and white photocopies of a trash ensemble. The monochromatic colors of the waste represent the dark impact that waste has on our vivid environment. There are also found objects from nature. I was inspired by Tony Cragg to use found objects to create a relief effect. The landscape effect is created through the ripping of long horizontal pieces. The purpose of making the layout a triptych was to highlight the height of the mountains.
20.04.2010 (May, 2021)
Clay, Plaster and paint
28 x 19 x 11 cm
This piece was created to illustrate the environmental issues of oil spills in the ocean. Each year over 500,000 birds die worldwide due to oil spills. The name of the piece is a date of when thousands of seabirds died due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. My intention was to create a hyper realistic sculpture of a dead bird covered and laying in a puddle of oil. The texture of the oil was inspired by Ai Weiwei installation “Oil Spills”, of shiny oil puddles.
Upward Flows (March, 2021)
31x 9 x 9 cm
This abstract sculpture began with cutting out pieces of a photocopied version of a drawing and arranging them in interesting organic forms. This led me to create the basic shape of Upward Flows which I then played around within the mockup stage. The impressing of small holes to create a texture combined with the gradient effect came from Lisa Conway’s Tall Pink Succulent sculpture. The decorations of the sculpture, such as the outlining on the edges with colour, was inspired by Lenes Kuhls Jakobsen’s Empty Vessel.
40-100 Years (January, 2022)
Nylon tights, moss
75 x 36cm
The title is in reference to the number of years it takes for tights to decompose. They are often subject to mindless disposal after getting a rip, and due to their unnatural material components, they rot in the landfills for a very long period of time, even though they could be recycled. This piece captures the process of them degrading, as green moss slowly covers the contrasting black tights.