What is "Landfill Guilt"?
Everyday we as consumers throw a LOT of things away. I often look at non-recyclables and ask myself "If I just throw this away, where will it end up?" One day I coined the phrase "landfill guilt". It describes what I feel when I imagine adding to growing piles of non-biodegradable garbage in my own country, or elsewhere in the world where it may eventually be too big a problem to handle. That concern is a big motivation to me to find ways to incorporate salvaged materials into my work.
As an artist, I love to see the potential in old things and give them new life as something beautiful and useful. I've always been fascinated by pretty colors and textures, so I often gravitate towards these aspects in old things, imagining ways to employ the element about them that interests me. Creating new from discarded, and reducing waste is a good feeling.
pulping salvaged paper in my studio
So I incorporate salvaged materials into many aspects of my work. Finding practical, beautiful ways to reuse quality materials such as paper, cardboard, wood, metal, and wire makes me feel as though I'm helping green, planet friendly efforts in my own small way. I utilize materials that are clean, safe, and sturdy in my sculptures, assemblage projects, paintings, packaging, and more.
I hope the ways I find to recycle and upcycle in my work inspire you, and I hope you're moved to find ways to incorporate reuse into your own life.