SYNTHETIC IVORY | 2006

Plastic shopping bags, plastic trash bags, plastic food bags, plastic packaging bags… a whole disposable plastic jungle of commercial messages, symbols, icons, references, labels radiating the spirit of delusion… the metaphors of human existence.

It is interesting to observe us carry our universal synthetic witnesses of what we buy, do, eat, pretend, wear, read all over the world and find them even more numerous as the leftovers of an excessively consuming society: discarded, caught in fences, trees, waterways and digestive systems of animals.

The polyethylene messages represent a very contemporary approach of communication and they do enclose a high prospect to tell a story. They are cheap, of no value and so ordinary that they almost become ignorable. Yet they are influential. They embody what the commercial world wants us to be(come), to believe, to feel, to hope for, to like, to need… the disposable plastic gods contribute to turn nonsense into essence in our society and are a reflection of the absurdness of a modern mass culture.

I have always been tempted to experiment and investigate with materials and themes, which offer possibilities to bring my work close to the atmosphere of life. I search to bring things together in an inquiring, confrontational and existential way. For that reason, I was intrigued to introduce these synthetic artefacts of everyday life, accumulated over the years, in my work.

Plastic is an often challenging material to work with. Sometimes it is extremely thin, fragile and tears up easily or sometimes it is very intractable.

By cutting up the plastic bags and often combining them with other materials such as metal, porcelain, fabric, cardboard, clay, wood, I strive to recreate the colourful prints and designs in another reality.

This takes form in installations, sculptures, collages, interpretations on paper, canvas and digital prints.

Hilde Kentane