Ever wonder where it all goes? When will we run out of space to store all the colorful boxes, the scraps of wood, the plastic, the cans, the excess packaging and all the things we don’t want any longer.
Some of these things find their way into my art. The colors, the texture, colorful designs and the feel of packaging intrigues me. Not because I want to save it or reuse it as much as I enjoy looking at it. I imagine the many people such as designers, art directors and media giants bent over their desk, immersed in conversation about the right color, the composition and how to produce the design that will draw the most people…appeal to the many people and well just deciding on how to choose the most appealing one not to mention the hours spent identifying their targeted audience …and then the production of that special box or bag which is home to the many items we purchase. Of course, this beautiful cardboard box, sparkly paper or brightly colored ribbon later makes it way to the trash can…does this mean we don’t appreciate all their effort…the many hours of manipulation spent, the flash point in our brain when we so proudly walk out of the store holding the beautifully wrapped item we just bought and then all the care we put into it keeping it nice until we get home. What would happen if we had to forfeit the bag, the box, the tissue paper….would we buy less?
Make your way into one of those huge stores where you show a membership card just to enter…you stand in line for hours only to pack your own purchase…then find a box stacked in a large bin which may have shipped boxes of tide detergent…just to carry your berries, lettuce and coffee to your car….even those boxes are beautiful but wow…what a difference. But you’ll see people doing just this from opening till closing time. Boxes, bags, wrapping and packaging—a tremendous industry which does pass the costs to the consumers….we just pay the retailer for the privilege of holding onto their colorful bag for an hour or so before we fold and tuck neatly….and then wheel them out to the recycling bin.
I enjoy thinking about these things while I am cutting, pasting, assembling and using bits and pieces of this “trash” in my art. It’s beautiful…takes on a whole new meaning and perhaps will be around in 100 years or so. What do you do with your trash?