Catherine Telford Keogh on Sculpting Trash and Compressed Landfill into Hanging Aassemblages

Artwork in America’s Summer season 2023 New Talent challenge features a sequence of interviews with 5 New York–based mostly artists to look at. A.i.A. senior editor Emily Watlington and photograph editor Christopher Garcia-Valle visited every artist of their studio to study extra about their art-making course of, inspirations, and influences. Under, in an edited model of the dialog, sculptor Catherine Telford Keogh explains how she conglomerates trash and landfill into hanging sculptures.

Associated Articles

Hardgood & Dolly (2023) is a chunk of compressed landfill I extracted from Useless Horse Bay [between Brighton Beach and Fort Tilden in Brooklyn]. Within the Industrial period, it was additionally dwelling to fish oil factories, and rubbish incinerators. Within the Fifties, a sequence of highways decimated quite a few low-income neighborhoodsin Brooklyn, they usually moved all of these people’ items to Useless Horse Bay, then used them to increase the shoreline. The trash and their belongings had been compacted, then coated with sand. Just lately it’s been eroding.

As a result of this was the Fifties, there’s extra glass than plastic. I extracted a hunk of landfill that included all these merchandise which were vitrified over time. It comprises rubber, cement, plant matter, packaging, sand, and different miscellaneous objects. My college students helped me drag this piece again, and it spawned my most up-to-date present, “Shelf Life,” at Helena Anrather Gallery in New York.

One other piece in that present, Compost Index 3 with Volumes 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 (2023), entails repurposed tiles I bought from Marble Expo on Fb Market. The onyx tiles had been initially extracted from Karachi, Pakistan, and delivered to Marble Expo within the Bronx, which then offered them to firms, a financial institution, and a Finest Western. I bought the leftovers. The multicolored onyx has all this depth, so you possibly can actually see the earth processes that occurred over eons. I wished to place them [on the floor] in order that they signify earth or floor, but additionally a countertop on the similar time. I waterjet-cut totally different commercials within the tiles, borrowed from issues like moisturizers that promise a more healthy or extra environment friendly physique. I additionally sandblasted photos of issues that I discovered on the bottom in my neighborhood: lottery tickets, gum, cigarettes, Modelo beer cans. I photographed them, turned them into stencils, after which sandblasted them into the tiles. Sandblasting is nearly like a mechanized geologic course of, but it surely additionally creates this ghostly or fossilized picture of the waste.

I additionally remade plastic vessels in glass that you may carry round—like detergent bottles, milk jugs, or motor oil containers. I work with containers lots. I’m desirous about how they promise house cordoned off from temperature, local weather, and decay, however are additionally in every single place in landfills. Positioning vessels on the onyx tiles, I wished to level to deep geologic processes which have occurred over years and years.  —As advised to Emily Watlington


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *