Monday, February 28, 2011

Trash Island

First of I should fill you all in on what trash island is... It is a collaborative project between a former KCAI student and myself with the help of other Art Institute students and The Lakeside Nature Center. We held a workshop to construct an inner tube made from construction netting and plastic bottles as the floatation device. Secondhand netting was then used to fill the tube structure. The nettings purpose was to support the roots of the plants we would be filling it with. Plants were donated from the Nature Center and one local Nursery. Then we proposed our floating garden to a committee to seek approval to launch it at Lake of the Woods in Swope Park... It was approved!
We choose Lake of the Woods at Swope Park because it is a heavily polluted public location. We wanted to use the island as a vehicle to speak about pollution not only only a global scale,(specifically the trash island that has formed in the Pacific Ocean) but also on a local spectrum.

It looks great and the plants go through a natural process to aid in water remediation. The trouble is there is no signage to communicate what our intentions were for it to speak and bring awareness to. That is why I am going to utilize the Green Sculpture elective I am in to tie up the loose ends this project so desperately needs...A sign!!!
I came up with this piece of plastic after considering several materials. I think the transparency will lend itself nicely to see the island in the background therefore tying the two together. My first instinct was to clean it up before adhering vinyl lettering but after speaking with my classmates, I think it will only heighten the grotesque nature of what it will be communicating. I still am working through some technical issues, like what type of vinyl lettering to use and coming up with the proper support leg or legs to steak it into the ground. I am really excited about the sign! I think when it is put together it will possess basic sculptural elements, balance and gesture that I explore in my studio practice. Above all I hope our project will communicate the huge pollution issue at hand and encourage individuals to make conscience decisions that effect our environment.

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