The Reclaimed Billboard Series is a response to things disappearing so fast these days that we don’t see them vanish. Billboards: will they last much longer? Now handhelds devices and pop-ups on TV screens give us our ads, telling us what to buy, where to go, and what to see. Will they soon be in our car windows or sunglasses? Quilting: will our future even know what this is? I have formatted these ideas into the large vinyl billowing quilts that are quite simply an adaption of tagger mentality—it’s out there, I can take it and make it mine. The lettering on the billboards become images to me rather than the alphabet, making large pillows and juxtaposing these shapes to create my own pictorial language. I use vinyl, nylon thread to transform two-dimensional or flat objects into a three-dimensional object that illusionistically, as well physically, leaves the wall. There will be both wall mounted pieces and sculpture in this series. The Reclaimed Billboard works go back to the idea of resourcing the source similar to the 55 gallon chromed oil barrels of Out of Site – Out of Sight. Petroleum is the preferred substrate for all man made materials such as vinyl, nylon, and polyester, my current medium. Symbolically, we are fast approaching a fully synthesized world; Craig Venter showed us this when he successfully created life. Therefore, it makes sense to use petro chemical mediums in my work. It doesn’t dissolve or disappear but only changes form, be it by man or nature, a form of recycling.
"Out of site, Out of sight?"
Wood, whale oil, fossil fuels beget cooking, electricity, transportation. Since the discovery of fire, we have been searching for better fuel sources. While most past advances in our species have not always been achieved through palatable means, (war, slavery, fossil fuels) they are what catapulted us through the technological timetable to where we are today. During their contemporary discovery, things that we find horrible today were the norm. Most likely in 50 years, people will be upset to know we used powerful earth magnets in wind turbines, or disgusted by the fact that we need a new smart phone every 6 months.
"Out of Sight! Out of Site?” represents the past, present, and future of our species. On one hand, this piece symbolizes prosperity (the bronze baby shoes of technological advancement). On the other, it is the stigma of our past. Yes, we have soiled our hands throughout history to get to where we are. Would it be easier to chrome our filth, so it mirrors its surroundings, making it out of sight? Or should we embrace the opulence of our accomplishments?
The piece allows you to accept our past. Or ignore it.