How can an artist who likes to make things: sculpture, installations, books and pictures on paper and canvas, operate in a way that works towards a culture of sustainable consumption? How can an artist operate and be aware of the problems of unsustainable consumption, on an individual and global level, and not be complicit in encouraging and profiting from it?
Where do all the tea bags go? Part 2
If we think of Ecology as ‘the study of relationships between an individual and their cultural, social, economic and natural domains’*, then I’m trying to look at the systems and links that make up the ecosystem that I have currently found myself in.
The ecology that is ‘man made’, ‘unnatural’ or ‘synthetic’ is endlessly complicated with layers of detail which, fractal like, on further inspection reveal further layers of detail, and those details themselves have details on their details. I started investigating the resources used during a day in my life, this turned out to be a massive task. I decided just to concentrate on 10 minutes. This again, a large undertaking, has now been whittled down to the simple act of making tea.
Where did the tea bag come from? How was the milk produced? Where will the tea bag go once it is thrown away? Was any of the energy reclaimed when methane was produced from the decomposing tea bag when it went to the land fill near Skipton in West Yorkshire? How on earth do you make chrome and where did Russell Hobbs get it from?
* Michaela Crimmin and Bronac Ferran, ‘Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook’, London, 2006
What: Kathryrn Cooper - Where do all the tea bags go? Part 2
Where: PEEP! Gallery, 28 Bank Street, Ossett, West Yorkshire, WF5 8NL
When: Sat 5 Jan - Fri 1 Feb 2008
-Visit Kathryn Cooper's website
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