Julie Schabel

Plastic grocery bags are often an after thought. You think when you get home,” i could have bought a bag” while throwing that one time use bag away. i saved all my bags for a time. I stuffed them all into a shelf in my kitchen that i never use. I dont know how long i have been saving bags, but when i started pulling all of them out on to the floor i was surprised at the amount of bags I was able to amass.

the original inspiration was for a 10 foot wave, made from clear cast plastic. It would be installed with a water chemical sensor and led lights to visually display the information on the quality of water to the viewers. The piece would be installed in the water along the lakefront path.

As I was working with the idea I decided to use these plastic bags that I already had, mostly because I am against introducing new material into the world, especially for a piece that talks about the ways that pollutants cause damage to the water sources.

I affixed the bags together using a non-toxic glue mixed with water. I plan to continue to add to the bags until i reach the desired height of 10 feet and 5 feet wide.

I am interested in thinking about what would have happened to these bags if i did not save them. As well as the mass amount of bags that are used everyday and thrown away by the billions of people in the world.


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