Environmental art. What does that phrase mean, really?

Sometimes the phrase “environmental art” means creating art to draw attention to the beauty which surrounds us all the time while we live on our only home, which is the planet we call “Earth”. Sometimes “environmental art” means creating a thoughtful piece out of left-over material or even out of so-called “found objects”, in other words, other people’s trash. My newest project involves using the aftermath of an event that left many, many dry cleaning bags at my disposal. This work is intended as an installation, to be hung somewhere where others will be able to interact with the piece. I think it will be successful in drawing out all kinds of responses from others. The results should prove interesting…

After I cut strips from the bags, I weave them onto a branch I found on the ground in the aftermath of a large storm that swept through my area. This is where the name for the piece originated.

After finishing draping the first branch with plastic strips, I suspended the whole thing between two mobile shelf units to look at the result, so I could get a feel about how the whole thing might come together as well as what the piece might feel like upon completion.

I think it works so far, even without more draped branches. It reminds me of the way sea weed drapes itself over floating branches, which was something I didn’t really expect. It was suggested that I consider adding colored lighting to vary the effect of the plastic strips. I am not sure that will enhance the experience, but it might. I will think about that more as I continue to work on the piece.

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