A Guest Post by Western Canada member Janet Scruggs
To learn more about Janet visit her website
When I first heard about the Shifting Tides exhibit being comprised of artists from the western areas of the US and Canada, it piqued my interest. We share a lot of the same concerns on the western coast of North America. So this exhibit was an opportunity to speak about issues that might not enter the thoughts of those in other parts of the country.
Translating a concern or an issue into cloth can be challenging. How could I represent the tiny microplastics that have increased so much they are encircling everything and becoming food to organisms?
Plastic Chowder - Janet Scruggs
I decided a collage would be my best method of doing this. I was able to obtain permission to use text from a couple of news articles. These, and the photos were printed directly onto various fabrics. One of my favourites is the result of printing on a thrift store find - a cotton fabric that is like a corduroy but not fuzzy. I really felt that a raw edge look to the collage would be representative of the look of the ocean and would reflect my current approach to art quilts. Next I created the thread lace to represent the encircling plastic that is spreading. I stitched this initially with two colours of thread and when completed, I found that it did not have enough depth, so I attacked it with markers randomly. My final endeavour was to add several clear beads in strings to represent the tiny micro-plastic bits which are broken down from the plastic.
Plastic Chowder detail - Janet Scruggs