One week from today I will be at home surrounded by my dogs, cats, husband and QUIET. There are times that the noises of the city reach into my soul and shake it up until my teeth start clacking together. I forget how much I take in on a sensorial/emotional level and the sights and sounds and smells and hard edges of the city are slowly transforming me into a New Yorker. I find that I look around less, ignore what is right in front of me, pass slow people on the sidewalk and retreat into my own world on the subway or bus. Sometimes I just have to come back to the apartment and close my eyes to conserve energy.
That being said, I am still having a blast. I have finished a second sculpture. My teacher has challenged me to continue the conversation I started with the first sculpture. This involves my take on the relationship between humans (including me) and the trash that surrounds us. How do we create it, how do we expand it, how do we ignore it, how do we try to contain it and how has the earth and all its life forms adapted to it?
On this note, my walk to the East River tonight was quite pleasant. I walked through Stuyvesant Town, a very nicely maintained community with lots of lovely plantings and one of the quietest places I have found on this island. I sat on a bench looking at the river, watching the last rays of the sun hit the buildings in Brooklyn and enjoying a sense of space. As I got up to leave, a boy, probably middle school age, hauled off and threw a plastic bottle into the river. I became irate and cowardly at the same time. I chose not to confront him, just as I chose not to say anything to the girl who dropped french fries onto the ground in the park last week and then stepped on them. (Those probably became pigeon and squirrel food.) I think my job as an artist right now is to observe, reflect and communicate through my art…but it is hard. I want to fix things, to clean this world up, to ban plastics, toxic chemicals, medications that get into the water supply after being flushed down the toilet. I want to stop fracking and mining and over-fishing of our seas. I want to dredge the plastics out of the ocean and fill the ozone layer back in and magically refrigerate the glaciers. I want to stop poachers and the people who tear down the rain forests. And I definitely want to stop stupid children from throwing shit into the river.
But here’s the kicker. I also want heat and showers and electricity. I want my computer and warm clothes and a place to sit. I want to travel and drive my car and weld cool sculptures and…
It’s a conundrum. For now I will just observe. And start dialogues with my artwork.
Here’s the latest piece. I call it Anthropocene which means The Human Age.