Thursday, November 3, 2016

Art from Waste

The "Stuff" of our Society as Art

by Bryant Holsenbeck

I was in my twenties when I began my professional career as a basketmaker, hunting and gathering for materials in my local natural environment.  I learned what materials indigenous people used, found in their environment, to make baskets to hold and carry their goods. As I learned about my natural environment and what could be made out of it I began to notice what was in it now.  Throwaway disposable stuff made to last forever.
I see my journey to becoming the environmentalist I am today in retrospect.  It is clear that for many years, I have been documenting the “stuff” of our society that we use once and throw away. In America we create more garbage per capita but are blind to our waste. I believe this is a function of our wealth, and the vastness of our country.  We have the room to hide our waste, and the money to make more.  As we rush around in our daily lives, stopping to think about the waste we are creating takes time we do not think we have.  What we do to take care of our environment is up to each person personally. The only accountability comes from our curiosity and a willingness to pay attention.

I have had the great pleasure to be a founding member of a group in Durham, NC called “Don’t Waste Durham” where I have been working with a group of like-minded citizens on issues of environmental responsibility especially around matters of consumer waste.

I am thrilled to say that we have developed "the GreenToGoProgram" for citizens of Durham and participating restaurants! Wish us luck and join our kickstarter campaign if you can.

Bryant Holsenbeck is an environmental artist living in North Carolina, who makes large-scale installations that document the waste stream of our society. You can view more of her work at
All art conceived and created by Bryant Holsenbeck. In article: Plastic bottle waterfall—community project, Reynolds House Winston-Salem, NC. Above (clockwise from top left): Australian “chook” out of studio scraps; faun out of wire, plastic bags and found and recycled materials; bottle cap mandala out of over 50,000 caps and lids as a community installation at College of Charleston in Auddlestone Library; Australian fruit bat out of studio scraps.

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