I recently had the opportunity to spend 2 days at The Bottega Manchester– a Pilot scheme working to provide both Childcare and Studio space for Artist Parents. These 2 day gave me the opportunity to experiment with the medium of plastic and how to use it to create work that not only turns old discarded or rubbish plastic bags into a thing of beauty, but also challenges the viewer to consider their use of plastic and question who it will really damage in the future.
I created “Danger of Suffocation- keep away from children” a large plastic Tapestry that due to the bright colours of the plastic bags used can remind us of a child’s quilt cover or blanket. Inscripted on it are the words – DANGER OF SUFFOCATION, DROWNING IN PLASTIC. The initial line taken from what is written on the bottom of most plastic bags, warning us about the danger of plastic bags. This piece takes that message further by suggestion that not only is there a danger of suffocation but if we continue with our relentless consumption and demand of plastic, our children may well end up being swamped or drowned in plastic.
This piece was exhibited at Victoria Baths in June alongside other artists from The Bottega as part of an exhibition “re:Produce”. Alongside the tapestry I also display four photographs of each of my children sleeping underneath the plastic quilt to further impress the point that it will be our children who will face the major consequences of our plastic use.
Following on from this piece I have since created an Earth Banner for St Johns Church, Old Trafford, as well as running an art workshop at their summer school getting the children to create their own plastic collages. The Earth Banner was made for Earth Day 2018, which was focussing on how we can end plastic pollution. The EARTH letters are made from plastic bags and stitched to a parachute, again a reminder about our children who will takeover the earth from us and the symbolic segments of the parachute references that we do have enough resources for the whole earth if only we shared them equally.