As an environmental artist and activist, my goals are to educate my fellow human beings on the nature of our physical relationship with the environment, and the art works I make involve consumer waste and natural materials. These materials are used intentionally to consider both my consumption as an artist, and the afterlife of my piece.
This installation of a mother earth figure focuses on our intense consumption patterns, and the subsequent degradation, extraction, and contamination of the environment that this behavior spurs. In order to limit my environmental impact as an artist, all materials utilized in these sculptures are recycled and/or compostable. Once the sculpture outlives her life within How Space, she will be returned back to the earth.
Through this work, I aim to express the parallels between the violation of the planet, and the violation of women. In ecofeminist theory, the simultaneous oppression and domination of women and the earth is emphasized in order to express a need to cultivate a holistic worldview that stresses equality and recognizes environmental implications – two things that are undervalued and diminished under the conditions of the patriarchy. Mother Earth has existed as a symbol of fertility and growth for thousands of years. By utilizing this form to showcase environmental degradation, exploitation, and violation, I bring the work to this point of intersecting movements for equity and sustainability.
With all of the environmental issues that currently plague us, it can be easy to get lost in the sheer volume of overwhelming information and sense of imminent plight. As we collectively mine, remove mountain tops, drill for oil, pollute the world’s oceans, release toxic chemicals, and physically disturb the landscape in any way, we are very physically violating the earth. I have found that the most important thing to alleviating any personal sense of hopelessness or distress is to take a step back and find my roots in the natural environment. I would encourage anyone else who feels overwhelmed or hopeless to reconnect with the earth and all that she provides. I feel a duty to protect what I love, and in fostering my connections with ‘natural’ elements of the earth, I have prepared to defend her fiercely.