Too Common, Just Way Too Common
Erik Jon Olson
Quilted Plastic Waste
27” x 18” x 9”
Using quilted plastic waste as his medium, Erik creates works that deal with the effects of consumerism, mass consumption and unfettered capitalism. By layering environmental issues with social justice messaging, his art emphasizes our alienation from the environment and each other, our willingness to waste, and our subsequent need for healing. By minimizing his carbon footprint in the creation of pieces and transcending the medium without denying what it is, Erik creates art that embodies Marshall McLuhan’s concept that “the medium is the message.”
A representation of an over-sized used and empty paper bag constructed of plastic waste and just large enough to feel uncomfortable. Too Common, Just Way Too Common is a gnawing reminder that food deserts, food insecurity, and hunger are all too common*, even as our culture discards 30-40% of the food we produce**.
Nothing new was used to make this piece. It is constructed of eight to twelve layers of machine quilted and surged, previously used, single use plastic. The "batting" consists of used pallet wrap. The thread is left-over from garment manufacturing. Even the sewing machines were previously owned. Too Common, Just Way Too Common is sewn entirely from plastic scraps left over from the creation of previous art works. It is not just made of waste but is made from the waste of the waste.
*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_in_the_United_States **https://www.usda.gov › foodwaste › faqs