Something Fishy: Politicians and Sea Creatures by Sarah Schneiderman
May 23 - June 29
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a large system of ocean currents containing marine debris in the North Pacific. It consists of plastic, sludge, and other man-made debris. No such patch was found in the Atlantic until after the hurricanes of 2017. Both the strength of the hurricanes and the increasing generation of single-use plastic and other disposables are contributing to these patches.
My work focuses on environmental concerns, the amount of waste we generate, and the seeming disregard so many of us seem to have for our fragile planet. The work in this show investigates the relationship between garbage, the oceans, and global climate change. The two bodies of work included in this show -- the Aquatic Life Series and Political Portraits--examine our disposable society and the degradation of the environment.
My love for scuba diving reinforces my deep concern about the environment and how much trash we generate. I started diving in 2013. I fell in love with the ocean and its creatures. At the same time, I learned about how coral reefs are dying due to pollution, rising water temperatures, and reduced oxygen in the ocean. I chose to create representational fish art out of found objects and trash. These pieces reveal wonder and, sometimes, the terror of sea life. My intention is that my audience will not only see beauty and get joy from this work but will get a greater appreciation of and respect for our climate and the need to reduce the amount of trash we generate. This body of work is known as the Aquatic Life Series.
After the 2016 general election, I began work on Political Portraits. These are fractured images of people who are or were in the current presidential administration or have exerted political influence there. Again, I’m using found objects and daily debris generated by my household as the medium. When closely inspected, the viewer cannot see the image; it only appears when we step away. This reflects how we view our world. When quite close to something, we may have a different impression than when we stand back. These portraits either represent the transformation of trash into something beautiful or the horrific feeling that this administration is trashing the planet.
Sarah Schneiderman, May 2017