The Pacific Gyre Series
Omisade Amy Gerhauser
May 6 - June 18, 2016
Reception: Friday, May 6, 2016; 6 - 9pm
The Pacific Gyre Series deals with issue of plastic debris in the ocean; pre- and post- consumer plastic waste breaks down into small pieces and is indefinitely trapped in swirling oceanic currents (gyres.) The plastic is consumed by marine animals such as the Albatross, who starve due to the indigestibility of plastic.
Becoming aware of this environmental problem has caused me to pay attention to the amount of plastic that flows through my household (as well as avoid buying it whenever possible.) I started saving plastic bottle caps as a way to make visible our pattern of consumption and incidental waste and the ever-growing pile is disheartening. In addition to bottle caps these works include fragments of an Albatross skeleton, references to Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and a map of the Northern Pacific Ocean.
Whether making sculpture, installations, or drawings, this body of work always involves the combining of many small parts or images into a larger whole. Mold-making, casting, arranging objects, crocheting wire and attaching bottle caps, and drawing using stencils are repetitive techniques that make accumulative forms and images possible. The two installations in this exhibition, Pacific Gyre Series #11and #13 are both open-ended works; over time more parts will be added and the installations will be larger each time they are exhibited. The additive processes of all the works in this series mirrors the slow, continual increase of the environmental tragedy and is also a physical manifestation of penance, meditation on loss, and hope for a solution. – Omisade Amy Gerhauser