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Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration of Trash

Since 2012, I have been creating Trash Bubbles from discarded consumer packaging.

It began while thinking of a way to create mail-able 3-D trash poetry collage pieces for members of a group to which I belong at IUOMA. They had to be readily available, cheap, sturdy enough to survive the postal system, with a clear area in which to create and about the size of a postcard.

One day, while opening some medical tape I'd bought as an art supply, I realized that the package was perfect for the job. My first series of three Trash Bubbles were all created from that same packaging.

Most Trash Bubbles contain a message. Some messages reveal themselves in creation, others are well-planned and executed affirmations. They have been quirky, kitschy micro-stories. They have been poetic. They have been down-right silly.

Each Trash Bubble is completely unique unto itself. Creating a Trash Bubble is an entirely intuitive process for me. It begins with choosing a package and then combing through the bits I've intuitively accumulated, displayed and stored in clear jars, looking for those things that wish to be included. When I try to force it, they never work. It is only when I let the bits speak to me that they take on a life of their own and tell their story. A color, or a shape will present and attract other items that complement it and support the message.

At first, these were just just something I could send to mail art cohorts. About a year or so in, I submitted a series of Trash Bubbles, created in a red, white and black color palette, to GreenCraft magazine at the insistence of a friend who believed in them and me. Much to my surprise, they accepted them and printed my article. Later, I created a Trash Bubble mobile which was exhibited locally as part of a green art show for Earth Day. The mobile was later disassembled and the Bubbles were mailed out.

Trash Bubbles: A Poetic Exploration is intended as a gallery exhibit with workshops, culminating in a mass mailing.

Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (July 2017)