Container Ship Inspired

Uncontained Consumption
85” wide x 36.25” deep x 7” high (on 14” high pedestal)
mixed media (plaster forms cast from plastic packaging, paint, varnish, on wooden board)
2017

 

Consumerist Mandalas #1, #2, #3 (10 inch)
each: 10.25” wide x 10.25” high x ~ 2” deep
mixed media (plaster cast from packaging, paint, varnish, PVC glue, wood)
2016

Uncontained Consumption and Consumerist Mandalas were inspired by the infrastructure surrounding container ships. Gargantuan ships travel across the ocean to bring us the cheaply manufactured products that fill up our living and working spaces, providing functionality and delight. With the advent of computers, we can order products instantly online; this speed contrasts with the time and distance of these goods’ journey to us.

After seeing a few photographs of container ship accidents, where piles of containers fell into the sea, I imagined all these products emerging from the sea as a beautiful but horrific landscape, a pretty pollution. This is while also keeping in mind recent reports of the increasing amount of plastic fragments accumulating in the ocean.

I began collecting throwaway plastic packaging from consumer goods and using it as molds to cast plaster. I ended up with a large collection of miniature forms which I then arranged into a landscape, surrounded by models of sinking container ships and computer networks. Some of the plaster objects retain traces of the items that they had acted as packaging for, while others are thoroughly unrecognizable.

In general, my sculptures can be seen as utopian landscapes, perhaps even an escapist fantasy from disturbing realities (like impending environmental catastrophes). They are my attempt to bring order and beauty to my surroundings, to organize the anarchic disarray of forms and textures around me, and to reflect on larger systems and processes that impact my life.