Ten years ago, while walking along the beach on the North Fork of long island I was struck by the amount of plastic debris that had washed up on the shoreline. At that time I was aware of the global plastic pollution issue at hand, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – the nation-sized gyre of swirling plastic that continues to grow off the west coast of the U.S. However, I had never been so abhorrently exposed to the issue on a local and personal level – it was now, for the first time, on my doorstep, and it was totally undeniable.
I brought some of this plastic debris back to the studio and began making art and
I haven’t stopped since. Simultaneously, as my sculptures began to evolve, so
did my understanding of the science behind the plastic pollution crisis in the ocean. As our behavior as a species has changed the course of our natural world, what I have learned over the years has changed the course of my growth as an artist.
The majority of my work is made 100% from marine debris while in some cases I upcycle from other environments. When needed, I collaborate with local craftsmen to produce a multifaceted piece – such as fabricating a metal armature of a whale or other marine creature. Currently I am experimenting with technology such as fiber optics as a lighting element to bring awareness to the issue and reach a wider audience. Using programmable technology, albeit new, and not from the ocean, is a useful tool that can be woven into my work and bolster the strength of my message.
My artwork is friendly, engaging, playful, and more importantly it is educational and persuasive. My goal is to create art that not only sends a message but also allows the audience to learn and digest the information at their own rate. I work to give a voice to the natural world which has been silenced and abused, to inspire change and to ignite a desire to live healthier lives.