Women on the Edge of Time
2021, Glazed clay, plastic 7″(H) x 11″ (L) x 9″(D)
Not only are women on the edge of time, but all of humanity and all other living things on the planet are at an ecological inflection point. Emblematic of the harm humans are doing, whereby the atmosphere and oceans are warming primarily due to carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, is the accumulation of plastic debris in the oceans and other waterways, and indeed in landfills. In the Pacific Ocean alone, there is a floating island of plastic the size of Rhode Island. Larger pieces are broken down into micro ones, thus harming sea life when they ingest them. The presence of plastic molecules has been discovered in humans. Plastic is a product made from oil. It does not fully break down or degrade for centuries.
The solution? Alternatives exist for packaging, such as using biodegradable forms of plastic, paper, cardboard, or using no packaging at all. Plastic is useful of course for products such as medical equipment, parts of vehicles, etc. but there must be a concerted and required effort to recycle these products at the end of their useful lives. At the moment, only a small portion of plastics are categorized as recyclable, and even among these, as revealed by investigative reporting in a Frontline documentary I saw recently, many types, such as clear clamshell containers, are not actually recycled, despite having the recycle triangle with a number embossed on them. They end up in landfills or in the ocean.
Video short: Anne Stanner
NYSWA: Anna Stanner