Peggy Jones: Vortex Plastique

PEGGY JONES: VORTEX PLASTIQUE

May 3–July 1, 2009

In Lobby

Vortex Plastique is a collaborative exhibition organized by artist Peggy Ann Jones who has brought together sculptor Jennifer Miller, and friends and students to create sculptures of and about plastic in our lives and environment. “I wanted to make people stop and consider how prolific and ubiquitous plastic is in our lives.” Jones explains. “It is my hope that this exhibition will make people rethink their daily routines and make better choices as consumers. The sculptures include a carpet Jones constructed of approximately 3420 braided shopping bags over 13 feet in diameter. Inspiration for the carpet came from research about plastic in the ocean. Five, life-sized, figurative sculptures that Jones created in collaboration with Jennifer Miller are constructed of discarded consumer plastics representing themes of environmental concerns.

The sculptures on view include a carpet over 13 feet in diameter that Jones constructed of approximately 3,420 braided shopping bags, and five life-sized, figurative sculptures constructed of discarded consumer plastics representing themes of environmental concerns. Intentionally built to human scale, the figures in Vortex Plastique were created from more than 75 different forms of collected plastic.

The title, Vortex Plastique, makes reference to the North West Pacific Gyre - an area of the ocean where currents entrap discarded plastic. The photograph depicts a circle of plastic floating in the ocean. It is a carpet of braided shopping bags that has grown over the last few months. Jones explains, “When I realized that my original vision of a huge carpet of plastic was more than I could produce by myself, I invited friends and students to help me. We had braiding parties at my home during the summer of 2008.” In September 2008, Jones and friends displayed the carpet at the Surfrider Foundation’s Paddle for Clean Water Festival held at Ocean Beach. “The carpet was a popular point of interest and allowed me to speak to many people about how reusable shopping bags is a simple way to reduce plastic in our environment.” The carpet was again displayed at an exhibition at the MiraCosta College, Kruglak Gallery in November of 2008. ”I must thank Anna Dohrman who did a lion share of the braiding. Without her contributions, the carpet would be much smaller and have less of an impact.” Jones adds, “One of the simplest and easiest ways we can help reduce plastic consumption is to bring our own reusable bags when shopping. “It is alarming to find out that of the estimated 380 billion plastic shopping bags used each year in the US only 1 percent is returned for recycling.”

Sponsored by Oceanside Arts Commission

Catalog: Vortex Plastique

Peggy Jones, Amazon (drying)
Peggy Jones, Mercury (rising)