Broken Pattern is a series that builds on past work exploring human impact on the world, by merging anatomies and landscapes into single sculptural forms. These sculptures provide new and fantastic understandings of eco-anxiety and speculate on possibilities beyond planetary collapse. They visualize rampant cycles of human consumption and the resulting detriment to both the human self and surrounding world. The mechanics of consumerism is a driving theme behind this work, with a specific focus on the factory food system and its implications for land depletion and climate shift. These patterns are played out on the surfaces of sculptures that express the physical and psychological fallout.
In my work, sculptural anatomies become a stage for human cycles of consumption; literal embodiments of various compromised environments. In the work Procession, a figure’s head represents a city, with a chain of detailed animals leaving factory farms on the figure’s back only to be reabsorbed through its maw. The sad predicament of these creatures is unwillingly witnessed by another face on the reverse of the work, its dual knowledge and denial of the event evident by its peeking through its fingers. In Seeing and Having, trails of transport vehicles lead from giant eyes through a mouth, symbolizing the energy expended to provide for the impulsive nature of online point-and-click shopping. Miniature vehicles and animals are forced along pathways on these bodies that often lead to dead-ends, underlining the precarious nature and bleak future inherent to these practices.
As a title, Broken Pattern is dualistic. It speaks to patterns that seem destined to end in ruin, but also imagines the potential of breaking from them. While the initial works in the series speak to unsustainability, further sculptures become more speculative in nature. In the work Abandoned Refinery, a figure embodying an abandoned oil refinery (re-imaging Fritz Khan’s Man as an Industrial Palace, c. 1928) is rusted over. It stands as an architectural relic of a drained resource that is slowly being overtaken by the surrounding landscape—a herd of deer grazing at its base. In Pervasive, a figurative dandelion walks over the rubble of a collapsed world, in a triumphant march symbolizing the resilience and perseverance of the natural world.
The careful crafting of these sculptures and their miniature details counter the works’ themes of fast food, hyperactive production, and on demand delivery. Laboriously carved from wood and painted, they represent hours of reflection on the meaning of being an active consumer in this world and struggling to imagine models beyond it. The self-deprecating nature of the work softens dystopic paranoia with humour and invention, attempting to provide new access points to thinking outside of our selves and our global predicament.