Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Two Hours at the Beach, Window Installation

(Above: Two Hours at the Beach, Window Installation at the Tapps Center for the Arts on Columbia's Main Street. Click on image to enlarge.)

Last spring I went to Folly Beach and collected trash for two hours. I knew what I was doing. I was savaging for an art quilt's "raw materials". I blogged about the art quilt HERE. The piece was accepted into Art Quilt Lowell 2011. But ... I wasn't really done with the concept. I don't know if I'll ever be done with recycling and related ecological issues in my art. (I wish the world would eliminate the need to draw attention to pollution!) So, how could I resist another opportunity to creatively "scream" .... DON'T LITTER! I signed up for another window installation at the Tapps Center for the Arts. It opened this past "First Thursday on Main Street".

(Above: Two Hours at the Beach, Window Installation at the Tapps Center for the Arts. Click on image to enlarge.)

The window installation takes its name from the art quilt that inspired it. To create the installation, I returned to Folly Beach for another "two hours worth of raw materials" ... blogging about that experience HERE. I hung the quilt in the center and flanked it with water-inspired batik material, netting, and a metallic blue lacy polyester. My statements hang on the two side "wings" and read:

Last spring Columbia fiber and installation artist Susan Lenz spent a mere two hours along South Carolina’s coastline collecting beach trash. She resisted cigarette butts, aluminum cans, dog poop, and debris of enormous size. In June, Lenz combined her “trash stash” with recycled acrylic felt, netting, and thread. She called this unique art quilt Two Hours at the Beach. It was accepted into Art Quilt Lowell, a prestigious, national juried exhibition in Lowell, MA and then became the centerpiece for this window installation. Lenz collected another “two hours” worth of shoreline pollution to convey her anti-litter message. She says, “South Carolina’s beaches are a precious natural resource. They are the home of a diverse wildlife population and a major source of our state’s tourist industry. Even though Columbia is two hours from the beach, many Midlands’ residents visit regularly and litter is something that needs to be addressed EVERYWHERE ... even on Columbia’s Main Street.”

It is amazing just how much trash washes ashore or was left in the dunes. I hope people see the window, the quilt, and think about pollution ... about littering ... about our precious natural resources and responsibilities toward them.

(Above: November 2011's "First Thursday on Main Street". Photo by Alex Smith.)

I forgot to snap photos while walking around on "First Thursday". Fortunately, Alex Smith didn't! He works at the Tapps Center and posted several on their website. The day before this evening art crawl was the official "grand opening" and ribbon cutting for the Tapps Center. For the past year, the building has been jumping through financial hoops, under "art studio" construction, and basically transforming itself from a former department store into a professional arts incubator! I'm proud to have been involved all year long. This is my fourth window installation!


Carrie said...

It really is disgusting that people think it is acceptable to leave their litter anywhere other than a bin. It's a great quilt and I hope it draws attention to the littering problem.

Linda of the Lake said...

Good display and grand quilt. Keep up the good work.

liniecat said...

You might google Martin Waters a Uk beach trash artist who was artist in residence at Sprun Point ...an amazing spit of land that sits with the North Sea on one side and the river Humber estuary on the other side.
Martin has made artwork with beach combed - dummies, bread tags, old shoes, plastic pieces and all manner of other junk. I esp love his sea glass pieces. You might like what hes done and it may give you more dieas. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

So powerful. Well done!