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and to here (fortress)...

2022 Proposal for Plastic-Free Philly

Size Variable


Statement of Approach

Interconnected columns of stacked Styrofoam blocks form a rectangular perimeter. Arranged with small gaps, they make four walls. Viewers can peer into and through, but can not walk into. The painted styrofoam is gilded with Composition Gold Metal Leaf and sealed with shellac. The blocks are held together with hidden wooden dowels. The size is variable and accommodating to different locations. Ideally 8” x 8’ x 12’ tall. “Fortress” has been specifically created for the “Plastic-Free Philly” call.

It’s presence is mysterious and ambiguous. Is “Fortress” a bedazzled vault or a gilded cage? What is certain is it is a monument to contradictions. It's solidity and glittering worth is only an illusion. "Fortress" is a private mediation on environmental issues. As if in a dream, the lines between personal and environmental swirled together. The work is an amalgamation of these notions:

  • Every trash day I passed gleaming white styrofoam structures. Intrigued as a sculptor by their shapes, I began to collect them. As I did, the obscenity of the vast qualities began to form my approach.

  • Questions of fragility wove their way into my concepts. Daring to work with something so frail raised issues of protection. I considered the convictions that imprison us. I saw the similarity between the reliance on toxic materials and dangerous beliefs.

  • Futility entered my thoughts as I knew my repurposing wasn’t a solution, but a showcase. “Fortress” invites viewers to contemplate their own relationship with our material world. We don’t need to be stunned by our horror and shock. Simple steps forward include petitioning e-commerce giants to remove plastic from their packaging.1 You can speak directly to manufactures and request they eliminate plastics.2 And lastly, consider what you buy and how it arrives to you.

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Possible configurations of four sides.
Sample of Painted & Gilded Styrofoam
Screenshot 2023-01-04 at 10.45.13 AM
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