Artist Statement

THROW AWAY PEOPLE began as this series of sculptures

The sculptures were constructed out of paper, painters tape, ashes, rubber, burlap, and twine. All of these materials came into my life quite randomly. I was given a huge spool of red twine, for example. I was a scavenger when it came to materials and found found used inner tube tires and all kinds of bits and scraps walking the streets of my hometown.

I wanted to make figurative sculpture that concerned itself with the way people are tossed out, just like the scraps of garbage I was seeing all over the city. I believe that when those who are underprivileged and marginalized populations are used up and no longer useful, so they are discarded. This was the initial idea for THROW AWAY PEOPLE. I exhibited this series of 8 sculptures at Wrong Brain Headquarters in Dover, NH in the summer of 2016.

What was happening in America? American politics began ramping up due to the upcoming Presidential election. I followed along on social media as people were being sucked into the abyss. In talking to young people, I became aware of my privilege. I began seeking out information on marginalized populations. It was all over the news and I became keenly attuned to it – the indigenous peoples and their fight for clean water, the trans population coming out, the gay adolescents undergoing conversion therapy, the immigrants, the homeless, the poor; in effect, those without privilege. These are my THROW AWAY PEOPLE. This project is in part about people being used up and tossed out just like our garbage. 

After creating this series of sculptures I put the project on the shelf. I was not done with the idea that people are used up like garbage, but the project needed some additional gestation time. Time passed and I received an invitation from Sarah Maline, professor of Art History, exhibitions coordinator and curator of the University of Maine Farmington Art Gallery, to participate in the UMF’s Water Bear Confabulum: an alternative street art festival that takes place in the alleyways of downtown Farmington.

I was delighted to accept the invitation. I used my THROW AWAY PEOPLE (sculptures), as part of the street art installation I created in collaboration with the students at the University of Maine Farmington. 

After I had prepared for 2016 Water Bear Confabulum, I was invited to exhibit my work in a solo exhibition the UMF Art Gallery in 2017. The gallery is a three story gallery on the University”s campus and I began envisioning the gallery filled up with all this packaging I was saving. I was talking to Sarah about how consumption had taken over my life with my food addiction. I told her I had just had gastric bypass surgery and I decided that I wanted to let people see what a geriatric patient eats for the rest of their life.I began to collect every single piece of post consumer packaging that came into my house. I saved and repurposed much of the cardboard packaging into drawings and paintings. At first I tried to keep up with the packaging, but I found some days I had 4 or 5 pieces of post consumer waste. I could not get to all of the boxes I collected, and as part of the exhibit I also displayed a huge mound of post consumer packaging that I did not have time to repurpose into drawings and paintings.

I began the drawings slowly and quite by accident. My health insurance lapsed and I could no longer afford my medication that helped to regulate my sleep. I approached my psychiatrist with my concern and he said I could write to the pharmaceutical company for samples. In the meantime, I was given all the samples he had. He told me he was unsure about the expiration dates. I accepted the medication. I am bipolar and my sleep schedule is the most important aspect of staying balanced with my mental illness. The medication he gave me expired nearly 10 years prior. Nonetheless, I took the expired medication, what choice did I have?My consumption project began when I repurposed those sample boxes of Rozerm and began creating art on them. In this initial series, there are 21 boxes flattened out, accompanied by words from the pieces written in red ink on neon green post-it notes. Those medication boxes, where self published a book called Sleep Waking because I felt I was in an in-between state of being asleep while being away. The book is a companion project to my exhibit CONSUMED and was released for the opening of the exhibit.

All of the packaging used to sell the products, waste designed by artists for advertising purposes, laid in piles scattered throughout my house. I was dumbfounded by the packaging. Was it simply to satisfy the consumer? All the unnecessary packaging was evidence of gluttony and consumerism. My project encompasses the effect paper has on the environment, consumerism, and the idea of people being thrown away and discarded.


My exhibition at UMF included, 400+ pieces of post consumer packaging repurposed with drawing and paintings, 3 large scale installations created from left over packaging, a series of found object assemblage I created from the scraps I found on my walks around my hometown, as well as some of the initial paper sculptures I created  and exhibited in the summer 0f 2016. 

I invite the viewer into my world where my consumption has overtaken my life and where marginalized people live among that which is thrown out.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial