Birth of an Exhibit: Our Plastic Waters

“White Egret Wading” by Ruth Warren, 12″x12″ mixed media on canvas, tissue and plastic bag collage

You cannot live in Florida and not notice water. Water is everywhere. It is in ponds and lakes, streams and rivers, inlets and bays, gulfs and oceans. Since moving to Florida, I have begun to explore water in my work. And the more I explore, the more I fall in love.

Healthy water is life-supporting. Healthy water is nurturing. Healthy water is ever-changing. Healthy water is always moving. Healthy water reflects light.

Healthy water is free of pollution. Healthy water is free of trash. But unfortunately, our ever-consuming and ever discarding modern society threatens our water sources all over the globe. And plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats. As a reuse artist, I am becoming more and more alarmed at the volume of plastic trash generated that ends up in our waterways.  Plastic garbage threatens wildlife, and it threatens our own healthy lives as the plastic works it’s way up the food chain.  And so I have started working on an exhibit idea that I am tentatively calling, “Our Plastic Waters”.

Our Plastic Waters will incorporate plastic trash together with my other favorite discarded materials like tissue paper, fabric scraps, buttons and broken jewelry in mixed media collage artwork. “White Egret Wading” is one of the first pieces I completed this summer that incorporates plastic bags within the collage. Strips of plastic bags are layered with tissue paper in the watery background, while the egret is composed almost entirely from plastic bags.”White Egret Wading” measures 12″x12″ and has already found its way into a private collection.  (My youngest daughter selected it as a gift during a recent visit!)

I am excited about developing this exhibit concept. You’ll be hearing more about it in future blog posts. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea!


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