Environmental issues and societal relationships are explored throughout my art practices. My sculptural collection ‘The Food Forest’, brings awareness to growing healthy food all around us as part of Whole Systems Living and Permaculture. The sculptures contemplate how and where food is grown, our relationship with how we purchase food, and natures amazing ability to adapt to our changing environment. Each sculpture examines the connection between nature and urban life as a way to inspire the concept of growing food wherever a pocket of nutrient rich soil can be found in our overbuilt and stressed communities.
The sculptures all have two key components. First, each sculpture uses an upcycled item to symbolize everyday urban life and human impact on the environment. Second, the sculptures are covered in brown paper to mimic brown grocery bags. The brown bags represent our relationship with store purchased food as well as to unite man, objects and nature.
Each sculpture has many layer of symbolism, for example: the sculpture titled, ‘Removing Barriers’ uses an upcycled garden fence and papier maché to represent dividing lines that separate starting with our own backyards. The concept of ‘Removing Barriers’ is also reflective in societal barriers as it relates to economics, ethnicity, gender and race. With this sculpture, I hope to open nonjudgmental dialogue for peaceful coexistence unencumbered by barriers.
Permanent edible gardens in our environment are possible and should be considered instead of planting exotic trees and plants that require excessive water and fertilizer that runoff and poison our waters. My dream for future public spaces is to have delicious fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs and spices that not only create a sustainable and beautiful ecosystem, but land space that can be harvested, and shared to nourish the community and build relationships throughout our neighborhoods.