Plastic Bags

The images of plastic bags I find hung in trees, caught up in bushes and littered throughout the landscape. The use of these bags is wasteful and unnecessary yet they encapsulate nearly every purchase we make.  My images appear blurred and softly focused, similar to the scenery we see as we pass in a car.   The bags are mere color blots that stain the photograph. The actual bags are delicate, wispy, thin, translucent products; as compounded refuse, the environmental problem they present is grand.  My photographs are passive gestures enticing viewers to contemplate the impact these bags actually create.

As an artist, for this part of the work, my process begins with being keenly sensitive to how these bags invade our background.  They attach themselves to our scenery and attempt to hide while they slowly disintegrate.  My eye is sharply aware of these intrusions.  I constantly notice discarded bags during my day-to-day routine. After I locate a bag that I think is a potential for a photograph I put extra time into my schedule for the next time I plan to be in that area.  I go back and make the image either before or after when I would normally be there.  In essence, I find these bags by being constantly aware, and I make the photographs through careful planning, not by driving around searching for them, wasting the same petroleum from which the bags are made.  I shoot this work primarily on slide film and always with my Hasselblad.

This is part of my 'Wasted and Replaced' series that studies the consumerism society we live in and how we throw out unwanted items.

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