This body of work reflects an intense three-month project of collecting, exploring, and experimenting with forms and materials. It also echoes my experience of learning about waste management, adjusting to the daily operations of this massive task, acclimatizing to the studio, and finding creative ways to work within the limitations of time and practicality. I constantly had to balance my urge to create art with my desire to just observe, to ponder various environmental issues, and to absorb all the fascinating activity that was constantly going on around me. The nonstop flow of waste from the businesses and households of our material culture continuously exercised my physical and mental energies. Locating and retrieving objects of interest amidst the bustling pace of the facility proved a constant source of excitement, surprise, amusement, and frustration.
Working with the familiar, I began constructing a wall sculpture my first day on the site. By the second day, I had moved off the wall and onto an empty floor. I decided to concentrate on forms and not concern myself with superficial flaws. I viewed blemishes as an integral part of the material and a contribution to the story and character of a finished work. I regarded color in the same way, using the presented surfaces as my palatte. I hoped to infuse the final work with one-of-a-kind energy and appeal, by preserving the integrity of the materials and beauty of the forms.
Right up to the end of my residency most of my works remained “in progress.” Whenever I had a problem or wondered what to do next with a particular piece, I just left it. Answers always presented themselves sooner or later with visits to the ever-changing landscapes of the various disposal sites. I put my trust in the realization that anything I needed to complete my work would eventually find its way to this facility. – Jeanine Briggs, January 2000.
Photos and press release for this artist.
Residency: October 1999 - January 2000