Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Allow Ourselves to Introduce Ourselves

Our names are Hannah Cosner and Tierney Moses and our game is recycled art. We are building a name for ourselves by utilizing trash and recycled materials to create sculptures and two-dimensional works.

Our first project was commissioned by Andre Faubert with the Surfrider Foundation and his 30/30 experiment.

Andre collected trash in Huntington Beach for an hour a day for 30 days and accumulated 580 pounds of trash. He came to us to turn it into a sculptural display to raise awareness of the amount of trash that we humans create on our towns' beaches. 

You can check out his blog to follow along or check in on this blog to stay updated on the project!

So to make a model for this trash that would reach the hearts of the residents living in these communities, we decided to create a monsterous wave made of wood, chicken wire, and cover the whole thing in the trash. This sculpture will allow people to walk inside the breaking wave, "getting barreled" by the mass of trash that we humans are to blame for littering on our precious beaches. 

Before any building could be done we first had to sort through the 15 some boxes of trash and categorize each piece by color. We separated the straws and bottle caps which we found the most of to be later counted and added onto our information display board. Sorting took days to finish, but our organization was well worth it later in the process.

Construction Began by creating a frame for the body of the wave with cheap particle board and holed mason board from the hardware store. The total size of the wave is about four feet wide, eight feet long, and eight feet tall. This process involved quite a bit of guessing and a whole lot of luck with how seamlessly all the pieces fit together. The team work among all of us was awesome with a really great combination of ideas and understanding. After the frame was made it was very clear to us that this project is entirely meant to happen.
Here's Andre surfing the skeleton of the wave!

Next we used some old chicken wire that we had lying around and sculpted the frame for the splashing white water that would be used as the base for the white trash to be sewn onto. Chicken wire is an amazing material to use in a project like this! It let us form the wave into a breaking beast that would be strong and sturdy after the trash was applied.

We decided that with accumulating more that 5 times the amount of clear trash than any other color, we would cover the entire wave with a layer of clear first applied by stapling. We decided that glue would be out of the question for any part of the wave. Using glue seemed like a strange approach for the purpose and message of this piece, and wouldn't last well over time opposed to other fixing methods. 

For the white water, we wanted to take a more delicate approach. For the areas sculpted with chicken wire, we chose to sew the individual pieces of trash onto the wire and to each other using fishing line. Fishing line is a very sturdy material to use. Sewing the white water became this huge quilt-like project of carefully weaving bit by bit. This approach allowed us to be really aware of the value shifts, plane changes, and textures of the trash to make it seem as much like white water as in real life. 

We worked long into the nights, each sewing at a quick pace of about two square-feet per hour. So far we have most all of the white wash sewn on and the entire wave covered in clear trash. We are just beginning the color application. When we add color our plan is to be very particular about the color and tone placement along the wave. We want to stay true to our fundamental values with our representational training. By "tightly rendering" the surface with such a crude material as trash, we hope the juxtaposition of being delicate with the products of such a massive problem encourage others to be delicate with their actions in their contribution to pollution. We will be doing a mixture of careful and minimal staples and sewing the rest of the colored garbage. Here's our most recent photos and we will keep you updated on our progress while we dive into color!

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