Collective Justice

FullSizeRender1By Heather Harper I Borderline Press I May 3, 2016

What better way is there to dispose of collections notices and old bank statements than to turn them into a work of art? Upcycling has become increasingly popular over the last several years, what with Pinterest’s enormous platform of DIY project ideas. This is good news for the planet, because we seriously need to reduce the amount of waste we are producing in this world.

A good friend of mine took this idea to heart in 2012 when she created her untitled work featuring Lady Liberty in the form of a robot. The painting is comprised of strips of discarded documents, which were layered to cover the background of a canvas, similar to papier-mâché. Next, a thin layer of gouache was applied to the paper-coated background. The robot was painted with black acrylic for a sharp contrast to the light green-blue gouache.

In the flame of the robot’s torch, one can see George Washington peeking through, a symbol of the power of money in U.S. democracy. The remaining emblems on the reverse side of the dollar bill – the pyramid topped with the eye of providence, and the great seal which depicts an eagle grasping an olive branch (peace) in the right talon and a bundle of arrows (war) in the left – are stitched to the chest of the robot with embroidery thread. The eye sockets are hollow, and the face reflects a lifeless smile; being an automaton doesn’t provide much room for emotion.

We can all agree that this painting was probably a lot of fun to make; a lot more fun than shredding documents, that’s for sure. It also reduced paper waste, while making a social commentary on the fundamentals of our country. Perhaps making art will not solve all of our problems, but at least it provides an outlet for people to embrace their creativity while contributing to saving our planet.

More Topics for this Series
Street Art as a “Self-Expression”
Timeline of a Visual Journey
Illustrious Illustrators
Know Your History! Cartoons and Comics
The Base Project
A Glass Act!
A New World Record

Heather1Heather Harper is AN Contributor and veteran writer. Most of her interests center in the non-fiction realm where she strives to use her “strength of the pen” to advocate on various social issues and causes. Learn more about Heather’s contributions to her writing craft.
*My twitter handle: @ExistentialMed


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