Here is my plastic bag collection.
Photo: Margaret Roberts
- I love the way plastics can be bundled up, and squashed, then laid out again and re-flattened. They have a memory, physically, and can become impregnated with scents. I notice very few used bags in our affluent society. Occasionally someone on the train will have their trusty favourite that they use regularly, and you can see how the colour has evaporated around the handles, however it is quite rare.
- I was asked recently why I focused on plastics. Perhaps because I grew up in the USA and was a victim of polyester! For sure because of the environmental impact, but also because they symbolise our affluence, and neglect as well. But growing up in New York city in the 70's and 80's there were various artists who made sculptural works in abandoned lots, using garbage they'd create fantastic art works. I found these very inspirational. I would watch the barges go down the East River laden with millions of bags of rubbish. Even as a child I was incredulous that these got dumped out at sea. Sick! The synthetic nature of petrochemicals and their impact on our everyday life is one that I am examining.
- Maybe Christo has something to do with it? Or Jeff Wall? Later, in the 90's I saw work by Mikala Dwyer and Hany Armonious. I knew I was amongst friends. Nowadays I can list dozens of artists, just locals who work with the stuff, and I love it. Anne Kay! Josie Cavallaro! Lisa Kelly! Kathy Cavaliere! Simon Yates! Simon Cavanough! Nick Strike! Caz Haswell! Jason Markou! Michelle Hanlin!