“Blanket Statement” is a work commissioned by IMMA for the Earth Rising Eco Festival October 2022.
“Blanket Statement” is a functional and interactive picnic blanket. I made it with a combination of branded, identifiable plastics and anonymous waste found at a domestic level over the course of 3 months.
Site specific to Kilmainham, “Blanket Statement” is a visual representation of 21st century material. Between Kilmainham and Christchurch, there is a high density of middens, or waste disposal sites from viking and middle aged Ireland. The organic material in these sites broke down over time and became part of the reason why Dublin grew and developed the way it did. Plastics will not breakdown and create a rich soil the way that organic materials can, instead it poses the question ” What do we do with all this plastic?”
This piece is made from plastics that are not typically recycled, soft and single use plastics. Some of these materials are “Wishful Recycling” or materials that while technically recyclable, are not recycled after the sorting process. This can be for a number of reasons including being a composite of many types of plastic, being a dark or unusual colour or because in the end it is not economically viable.
I took these materials and cut them into strips so they can become a yarn like material. I crocheted this yarn into squares and rectangles. Crochet cannot be replicated by machines, so all crochet is made with human hands. There are 30 panels of crocheted plastic in “Blanket Statement”. 15 of these panels are double, or treble crochet stitches, 15 of these panels are made with a granny square motif. Granny Squares are a very traditional and familiar crochet motif, you will have seen them before in handmade baby blankets and the fashion from the 70’s.
By investing the time and labour required to make the panels of plastic crochet, I’ve changed the value of the plastic waste. Given a new form and purpose, the durability, flexibility and weather resistance of the plastic is embraced.