Installation: 365 Days of Plastic is one year’s worth of plastic food packaging from a single household, which is both simultaneously beautiful and horrific. The work plays with the ambiguity of outcome and interpretation – domestic and industrial, beautiful and ugly, useful and useless.
The different scales and textures formed through casting create a panoramic view of containers. The positive and negative spaces are equally important. The use of dental plaster plays with the conceit of it’s normal use to cast teeth and a link to eating and food. The making of the work coincided with the pandemic, so it functions as a marker of time, and of the containment itself. It also asks questions about our disposable society, consumerism and our dependency on plastics.
Cast dental plaster. 3 m x 4 m.
Henny was featured in the Museum of Motherhood’s online partnership with Procreate Project and the Mom Egg Review issue 46, June 2021.
I make objects that respond to the domestic and the everyday. In 365 Days of plastic I used multiples of cast single use plastic food packaging to form a large scale installation. The making of the work involved the endless repetitive task of casting over 800 pieces. Repetitive tasks often feature in my work and reference those daily domestic chores we all do and which seemed to dominate life even more under lockdown. In our household we separate our recycling and I could see that the amount of single use plastic was forever increasing during lockdown.
I was horrified by the quantity, but also became fascinated by the patterns and textures. As a sculptor I could see the potential of using them as moulds. I documented the weekly quantity of plastic used in my household during 2020. In the final installation there are 760 individual cast pieces, which represents an average of 2 per day from a household that fluctuated between 2 and 4 people during 2020.
I see 365 Days of Plastic simultaneously as both beautiful, and horrific. It plays with an ambiguity of outcome and interpretation. It could be domestic or industrial, useful or useless. Or both beautiful and ugly. The different scales and textures formed through casting create a panoramic view of containers. The positive and negative spaces play equal importance.
The making of the work coincided with the pandemic, so it functions for me as a marker of time, and of the containment itself. It also asks questions about our disposable society, consumerism and our dependency on plastics. Britain is the worst consumer in Europe of single use plastics.
365 Days of Plastic was one of twenty pieces shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2021 and is currently showing at York Art Gallery until 5th September 2021.
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