I am thrilled to introduce you to Lisa Kretz, ITN’s August Featured Artist. Lisa grabbed our attention for a number of reasons such as, she creates beautiful pieces of work, her focus is on nature and Lisa uses materials from nature and recycled materials as her medium. Today Lisa shares some examples from her Glassterpieces series, we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Glassterpieces and other Eco-Adventures
A New Art Series by Lisa Kretz
Nothing in nature is waste. The natural world works cyclically. Humans, however, generate an increasingly startling amount of waste. Modern society is operating on a linear model with massive manufacturing at one end, massive consumption in the middle, and massive waste at the other end. Lisa Kretz, an environmentalist and artist, got to a point where she couldn’t generate any more waste in the form of plastics (acrylic paints) on canvas. There is, after all, an island more than twice the size of Texas composed of plastics floating in the North Pacific Gyre. Noticing that ‘First world’ society’s addiction to plastic kills not only fish, birds and turtles, but consequently harms humans as well, Kretz ceased using acrylics and started collecting human waste from natural environments to use as her medium. Glassterpieces and other Eco-Adventures is the result.
In the space between the public and personal, my work tells the story of an unfolding epistemology. Through the lens of my own emotional, psychological, and embodied narrative I grapple with the weight of one of the most politically pressing issues of our time – the global ecological catastrophe that ‘First world’ nations contribute so substantially to. Mine is a story of heartbreak and remembering – of a simple stripped down love of trees and water, lakes and sea shores. In the attempt to bring my art practice in line with my ethics I have begun using recycled found objects as well as waste, such as the discarded pieces of glass littering the shorelines of Lake Ontario. As much a part of the work as the final pieces, the meditative act of collecting what has become my medium encourages a slow pace and a careful eye amidst the quickly disappearing green spaces and waters of my youth. Patient creation is demanded, each piece growing organically with the day’s findings. The mosaics I have generated journal a year in communion with nature.
Lisa received her Honours undergraduate degree in Visual Arts and Philosophy as well as her teaching degree from the University of Western Ontario, her Masters degree in Philosophy with a focus on Environmental Aesthetics from the University of Alberta, and her doctoral degree with a focus on Environmental Philosophy, Ethics, and Oppression/Feminist theory from Dalhousie University in Halifax. She currently works at Brock University for the not-for-profit organization the Ontario Public Interest Research Group.
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