Bobbi Creating “Hazardous Waste Site”
One of my most unique challenges was creating a “Hazardous Waste Site” visually warning viewers to protect our water supply. The “Outdoor Sculpture Now” exhibition on the grounds of The Islip Museum provided the perfect installation spot. I knew I could use the water supply cover from my ** Save Water * * sculpture, but there were many more items to create or procure.
Barrel and “Chemical Spill
I did some creative sawing from a heavy duty 55-gallon vinyl drum. It was textured with watered-down gluey cement and then painted and sprinkled with rust dust. Expanding foam was squirted on a foam sheet insert. After it was sprayed a “putrid” green, I poked holes into the murky surface. The original beige color oozed up through the holes. A sprinkling of fine dirt and sawdust followed. My “hazardous chemical spill” looked official.
Simulated medical waste had been done for the assemblage “People Start/StopPollution.” My mix of catsup and port wine simulated blood in the syringes and gauze bandages. A little toy mouse would be added to the scene. Arrangements had been made for the Town of Islip to deliver a load of dirt for installation day. Long Island Lighting Company (called LILCO in 1989) donated posts and caution tape for the project.
Retro Sunburst Clock
Recently I saw a film with Picasso and company at the town dumps in France. There the maestro gleaned many fascinating objects for his found sculptures. That scene made me recall my own trip to the town dumps, hoping to find objects to relate to my installation. Donned in long gloves and high boots, I combed the territory.The tire and a dead end sign fit the bill. Then I spotted an old sunburst clock, a popular 1960’s item. Hmm, I thought..Yes a clock meant time. “Time to clean up our waters!”
“Installation Day” was exciting for me though it seem like a bizarre event to my husband, Al who had agreed to help. His wife was a former elementary school teacher and now she was simulating hazardous waste. “Let’s get this job done and overwith,” he uttered as he drove all the posts into a circular perimeter and strung the caution tape. Meanwhile I set all the installation objects into the load of dirt. The Dead End sign was the last object to place. Just perfect, I thought.Not protecting our waters could lead to a “DEAD END!”
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