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My junior Independent Study project in studio art was the most work I've ever put into a single concept. It was the source of a lot of my stress this semester, but it absorbed me in a way that stirred up even more passion for art making. I used to be afraid of sharing the things I'm passionate about. Well, in many ways I still am. I have a lot of passions and a lot of strong opinions and I'm learning how to exist with them. I could go on and on and on about what drove me to create this series and how it has impacted me in other ways, (although some of that is probably self explanatory) but instead I really just want to post a few in-progress shots, my artist statement as well as a photo of the installed work taken by my classmate Zoe Madden. Unfortunately because of the way I installed my pieces (in a stairwell by some windows) they were very hard to photograph in a way that I felt adequately captured them. In the fall I hope to get photos of them in a more controlled setting. There are four of them, made of found wood and plastic bags.

carved wooden skull

carved wing bones, plastic feathers (from Wal-Mart Bags)


And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Habits that are ubiquitous often fall completely out of the realm of conscious consideration. One of the most useless and yet widely used disposable items—the plastic bag—exists as a staple of our daily lives without deliberate thought. Our use of plastic bags is unnecessary at best and completely catastrophic on the environment at worst.

This series is an invitation to think about the plastic bag as it exists in our lives as well as how it spends its life after our short consumption of it. Instead of giving plastic bags little to no thought, I am spending a large amount of time with this single-use item; living with it, attempting to transform it, and giving it a new permanent purpose outside of its original fate in the form of feathers.

These birds, modeled off of the European Herring Gull, perch between worlds. They exist somewhere between life and death, between organic and inorganic, and serve to demonstrate the disastrous effects that our habits have on the natural world.

September 2016



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