When gleaning from the waste stream, the materials, by their physical properties or the vestigial pre-coded content of their original function, dictate the course of the work. However, within the unknowns of this discovery process, I employ specific studio methodologies and return to similar areas of study.
My creative process begins by learning to see familiar objects as aesthetic forms with defining characteristics. Rusted, heavy, ropy or fragile suggest work from the muscular and sculptural to the linear and lyrical. The power of entropy facilitates this process and imbues objects with pathos and melancholy beauty. Physical characteristics when considered within the context of an object’s original function suggest content.
I use patterning in my work to create cohesiveness. Patterning creates order and creates a receptive environment for examining materials. Philosophically, it is at this point that the viewer sees the materials as art despite the trash, because there is a purpose to the chaos. In addition, patterning is a facile way to create form. The fractal-like repetitiveness mimics the way nature creates complex organisms from cellular units.
Forms in nature are a reference point for my work. There is an intuitive dichotomy between man-made materials and nature. As artists working within the recycle/reuse movement, we become part of the eco-system. We function as scavengers. And, by restoring natural form to trash, we draw attention to sustainable practices and the preservation of natural resources.-Alison Foshee