A piece of Paper
My immediate environment has always played an integral role in my artmaking process - not only creating works in and of the landscape, but causing an awareness of my own immediate impact on the environment. This has triggered my investigation into the negative ecological effects of commercial papermaking.
In contemporary life, the packaging of consumer goods has generated a demand for vast quantities of paper, so here my material choices represent a desire not to add more product to the environment, but rather to make use of existing waste. To handmake art paper I sourced discarded architects’ paper - which also suggests urbanisation – and used readily available seawater – mindful of South Africa’s current water shortage. This has enabled me to keep my artmaking environmental footprint light.
I came to realise that many consumers are familiar only with products ready for consumption, rarely considering the way they are bred, grown or manufactured. Most of this knowledge is superficially acquired via the text and imagery on the packaging, in turn designed to shape the individual’s interpretation of the production processes and inform his/her purchasing choices.
In The Paperer installation, each wall piece stands metaphorically for embedded communication, with the intention of commenting on how we receive, interpret and sift through information. Consequently, my making process – sensitive to the environment – is as conceptually engrained into the final artwork as my concern around the consumer’s easy acceptance of product information and the subsequent effect of that on the environment; and both hold equal weight.