Leveled
Screenprint and Relief on repurposed fabric, with appliqué and reverse appliqué stitching
18″ x 50″
2018

America’s bill of health is determined by leading economic indicators, many are socially outdated, fiscally shortsighted, and ecologically destructive. Leveled takes a hard look at the nation’s diagnosis of rampant consumerism, specifically how cultural expectations and built in obsolescence fuel late stage capitalism hell-bent on using all our remaining resources.

The enormous toddler invading suburbia is my son, Levee. His outsized presence in an overcrowded world emphasizes my complicity in the American obsession with the new and our unprecedented, yawning footprint on the planet. The steamroller he plays with compresses the aggregate, hiding the evidence of our waste and creating a burnished, homogenous pavement that stretches into the infinite present. Beneath his feet are strata of trash, evidence of our insatiable consumption. The occasional dinosaur skeleton references our ersatz fossil record as well as our reliance on fossil fuels.

Making amends for my consumption is critical to my practice. In a media landscape cluttered with material it is hard to know if creating more is ultimately necessary. Greener practices assuage those doubts while driving the medium into a more sustainable future. In this case, employing repurposed fabric is one choice that reduces waste while adding a communal history to the work.

 


Blake Sanders earned his BFA from University of Northern Iowa and an MFA from Tulane University. He has taught art and printmaking at universities, as well as workshops at colleges and community-based art organizations around the United States. Recent juried exhibitions include the 3rd Global Print 2017 in Douro, Portugal; neo:print prize 2016 in Bolton, UK; the 35th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition; the 25th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition; and the 2017 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition. His work supports environmental mindfulness by illustrating the bond between people and the natural world.