I’ve been working with encaustic as a collage agent for over 20 years. For the past 10 years I’ve been using discarded cardboard in conjunction with the wax. Consumerism and its accompanying byproducts, packaging and disillusionment, are the theme of this series. Packaging is not only the refuse of consumerism, but its wrapping, too. The advertising business, rampant in all aspects of our lives, wraps its most base truth (that we need MORE), in glossy, retouched images and implied ideals that are impossible to achieve.
The nature of cardboard is essential to this work. It is malleable, yet always recognizable, offering many modes of presentation. It contains an inherent tension between the organic and the geometric as it begins to break down after being subjected to various processes, with wisps or hints of corrugation often being the last recognizable clue to what I’ve done. With the labels and brands obscured, these wax-buried items become a source of whimisical geometric abstraction.
As I make these pieces, I think about consumerism and waste and the disillusionment these things deal us. I consider these works to be embalmed mementos or time-capsule-like objects, possible future reminders of how casually careless we were with our only earth.