Created for Drap Art 18
‘The more we conquer nature the weaker we get’ Gary Snyder Earth House Hold, 1957
One day, couple of years ago on an artists residency at the Bemis Centre , Omaha, Nebraska, a group of gardeners arrived to create the centre’s vegetable garden. To my surprise instead of digging the soil they proceeded to construct large boxes two metres by three into which they introduced soil bought in from another área. I asked why they used this technique instead of digging into the ground directly. The reply was that the soil in this área of the city was poisoned by lead.
Past practises of lead refining operations, industrial scale battery production, use of lead based paint and leaded gasoline were responsible for the present contamination. In this case the soil is too adulterated to safely grow vegetables.
This information given to me so matter of factly deeply shocked me and alerted my attention to the importance of soil care. In this case the poison was lead, whatever the source soil contamination is returned to us by water, by air, by dust and through food.
My piece ‘Platos Rotos’ made of earthen spoons that are balanced on fractured piles of plates are as precarious and risky as the current situation.