My art practice stems from my love of making and building. I grew up designing and manufacturing surfboards, and this early experience with the creative process led me to start making sculptures in college. My other love is the ocean, and I was lucky enough to have found an interdisciplinary environmental science major at Stanford that allowed me to study the complex science of the marine environment while learning to express myself through sculpture. If there is one thing that I have discovered by studying the ocean, it is that it is greatly imperiled — it is treated both as humanity’s waste bin and its fast food joint. We simply put too many things into it while taking too many organisms and resources out of it. My life’s goal is to help protect the marine environment, and I have found that for me, the best avenue through which to do this is sculpture.
As a result, most of my works tell narratives about environmental science issues, from marine plastic pollution to shark anatomy. My focus is on appealing to the basic emotions of the viewer such that they can understand the scientific concepts at play and internalize the gravity of humanity’s impact on the global ecosystem. I study mechanical engineering on the side, and most of my works are kinetic and made from reclaimed materials.
Residency: October 2011 - January 2012
Art Exhibition: Friday, January 20 & Saturday, January 21
Ethan Estess's website