Lisa Barthelson

Rutland MA
Medium: fiber | metal | mixed_media | other
For much of the past 12 years, my work has focused on ‘the family debris series’, first conceived in response to my effort to purge our excessive accumulation of unwanted stuff as our three children grew and moved on. By repurposing the persistent byproducts of our consumerism and recycling my obsolete artwork, I challenge myself to create sustainable printmaking, mixed media, sculpture and installation art. I work in an improvisational way. I look at, listen to and build with diverse discarded materials, considering their color, form, texture, scale and history. The resulting work is colorful composed chaos layered with meaning. What may often appear as playful, has an underbelly that’s revealed with closer examination. From toys, to plastic items and cardboard packaging, the familiarly varied components are reminders of how much detritus is generated by each of us, and how it never truly disappears. It must go somewhere. In my case, our debris becomes art; a record of how we’ve lived and the embodiment of transformation, offering an often humorous public wakeup call for all to pause and consider their own individual environmental footprint. My journey to make sustainable art continues and grows more urgent over time. Its purpose has transitioned from the personal to a broader more global endeavor to ignite awareness. By shining the light on consumerism vs. the environment and the impact of a world dominated by plastic, I push to highlight the limitless possibilities and the power of art to reimagine daily objects and our actions. I embrace the fundamentals of living and working as an artist, who creates to the mantra: waste not, want not.