Friday, March 8, 2013

The True Cost of Plastic

As a collaborative team, we have visited Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore hundreds of times to gather plastic debris washing out of the Pacific Ocean. In 2001 we presented our first findings in One Year, One Beach at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station. We never imagined what would happen since that first exhibit, how picking up trash from the beach would become our life work. Since that first show, we have had over 50 exhibitions of our work. From the US Embassy in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia to the stage at Lincoln Center we have had incredible opportunities to show and share our work. Now until December 2013 at The Marine Mammal Center we have a 9' sculpture made from ghost nets taken from the stomach of a sperm whale. Opening June 1 we will have a permanent display in the new Cordell Bank area in the refurbished Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum of California.

This year Gallery Route One is marking its 30 years dedicated to presenting exhibitions in a professional art space in a rural setting. We are so pleased that they have invited us back to celebrate.

Now some thirteen years later since our first GRO exhibition we are still energized by the task of picking up trash. The stuff keeps washing in and we continue to be challenged to find ways to communicate about the plastic tide. By carefully collecting and "curating" the bits of plastic, we fashion it into works of art that matter-of-factly shows, with minimal artifice, the material as it is. The viewer is often surprised that this colorful stuff is the thermoplastic junk of our throwaway culture. As we have deepened our practice we’ve found, like archeologists, that each tiny bit has a story to tell.

Of late we have turned our attention to a somber bit of plastic jetsam. Through the years we have amassed quite a collection of toy soldiers. Wracked by a long life at sea, some of the faces are gnarled, chewed on, abraded by the sand. When we looked into the tiny faces we were amazed by their expressions. Each soldier is a poignant reminder of the ravages of war and the extremes to which nations will go to preserve dominion over the petrochemical world.

In The True Cost of Plastic we will present large-scale photographs of toy soldiers, a re-enactment of a battle scene, and some of our rare and amazing pieces of plastic collected from Kehoe Beach.

March 22- April  28
Reception Sunday March 24, 3- 5 PM
Salon, Sunday, April 28 4-5 PM