Lara: Installation #1: Inorganics

Plastics have quickly become one of the most insidious materials impacting our ecology. The threats to marine life and to the food chain have become an inescapable present and future and an unmitigated test to the resilience of our ecosystem. My intention was to begin to evaluate this threat while constructing a memory of ancient organics using inorganic materials. I used clear plastic refuse bags, shaped into soft forms resembling jellyfish, giving a life to the plastics. I wanted the viewer to feel immersed in a school of jellyfish, inspired by a surreal childhood memory.

I wanted to simulate a playful and simplified memory of these mysterious organic forms, harkening to a time when we were mystified by natural phenomenon but unaware of our impact on them. Now our waste is beginning to taking on a life of its own, refuse is gathers in formations that are beginning to simulate a new ecology; our inorganisms have in effect come to life.


 (Photo: Ben Mierement/U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

My intention was to minimise waste in my practice, working with plastic bags seemed a logical place to start. These transparent refuse bags are so delicate that they quickly came to life on their own and I discovered ways that I could manipulate them to make new shapes and textures. Each bag was constructed so that it can be either reconstructed into alternative forms or returned to their intended one.

Waste reduction and renewability was a constant consideration. I wanted to use as little material as possible and create something seemingly weightless and dreamlike in the process. Lights were added to the forms as an attempt to mimic their fluorescence. The end result was a very simple temporary form with a bit of water added to the interior as an attempt to give them a inverted sense of life as the bodies fill with condensation over time.

 

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