Amy Gerhauser

  • Pacific Gyre Series #11
  • Pacific Gyre Series #1 Wall installation: cast iron, graphite 60"x48"x4" 2012
  • Pacific Gyre Series #20 Drawing and ferrotype on muslin 40"x40" 2013
  • Pacific Gyre Series #16 Drawing and ferrotype on muslin 45"x45" 2013
  • Wing Outdoor installation: Handmade Kozo paper, steel, bamboo, mixed media 10'x14'x7' 2006
  • Arboreal Vessel Outdoor installation: handmade Kozo paper, steel, branches, mixed media 7'x5'x4' 1999
  • Sheltering Spiral Outdoor installation: handmade Kozo paper, steel, branches, mixed media 9'x5'x6' 1999
  • Arboreal Labyrinth Outdoor installation: cast iron, found objects, clay 48"x35"x30" 2000

My current series of work deals with issue of plastic debris accumulation in the ocean; pre- and post-consumer plastic waste breaks down into small pieces and is indefinitely trapped in swirling oceanic currents (gyres.) The plastic is consumed by marine animals who starve due to the indigestibility of plastic in their digestive tracts.* This is a slow, cumulative problem; much of the debris is not easily visible and floats below the water’s surface. There is no effective method for cleanup. Presently the North Pacific Gyre contains a floating ‘garbage patch’ larger than the state of Texas.

Becoming aware of this environmental issue has caused me to pay closer attention to the amount of plastic that flows through my household; I started saving just one type of non-recyclable plastic: bottle caps. Friends and coworkers have also collected and contributed caps for these projects…this ever-increasing collection makes our patterns of consumption and incidental plastic waste visible and tangible.

Imagery in this series has developed from maps showing the movement of Pacific Ocean currents that contain the trash gyres, plastic bottle caps, and fragments of an albatross skeleton. Albatrosses are especially vulnerable to plastic debris mistaken for food. Inspired by the albatross in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, their appearance throughout these works is intended as a cautionary reminder of our collective responsibility for, and seeming inability to solve this environmental tragedy.
*This information is derived from research by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation in California, http://www.algalita.org/.

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  • Artist Info

    • 11345 knickerbocker road
    • san angelo TX 76904
    • 512 718 2729

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