PLASTIC, NATURE, 2008-2010

For decades trash has been accumulating across the globe. A great deal of it is plastic. Much of this trash has gathered in the oceans to form enormous islands called Garbage Patches. Gyres, or the coastal currents, carry this debris to every shore on the planet. As the plastic and other material decays, tiny specks of it float into rivers where they are ingested by fish and wildlife. In this way plastic enters the biological chain, and becomes part of every life form on earth, including man. Plastic has now bonded with biology.

Plastic has become my symbol of climate change, of a planet being overwhelmed by millions of destructive changes in the rhythms of nature.

I have begun to use plastic in a variety of ways in my artwork, starting with photograms which have been paired with photographs. Aerial views of coastal communities are mixed with images of plastic bottles. Fragments of plastic are gathered to make the shape of a nest. In other photograms, leaves are shown to be filled with plastic trash. A wall piece of clear plastic containers is painted to look like a friendly shiny meadow. With each project I discover new ways to experiment with these ideas and materials.

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NEST, Photograms, 48 x 48, 2009   NEW JERSEY SHORE, 9 panels, Photographs and photograms, 20 x 176, 2006-09   NEW JERSEY SHORE, Detail, Photograph and photogram, 20 x 30, 2006-09   EAST RIVER - 1, Photograph and photogram, 24 x 14,2006-2010   EAST RIVER - 4, Photograph and photogram, 24 x 14,2006-2010,   DANDELIONS, Photogram, 20 x 16, 2010   FERN, Photogram, 20 x 16, 2010   LILY PAD, Photogram, 20 x 16, 2010   COSTA RICA LEAF - 2, Photogram, 20 x 16, 2010   COSTA RICA LEAF - 1, Photogram, 20 x 16, 2010   RURAL LANDSCAPE, Photograph, 19.5 x 21, 2009   MEADOW, Plastic containers, acrylic paint, nails, 60 x 60 x 10, 2010 - Images by Madelaine Shellaby   Side view   Close view   Very close view