Juror’s Choice Award
Stephen J. Washington
Anthropocene Vessels – Artifact Series
18″ x 12″ x 60″
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These “Anthropcene Vessels” are forms based on disposable coffeehouse beakers arranged as a diorama emulating shipwrecked pottery vessels from past civilizations that lay on the ocean floor. They are future artifacts. This piece communicates the issues of ocean pollution, so-called disposability of post-consumer waste, our laziness and willful ignorance as a species to acknowledge the threat to our current civilization from a self-inflicted ecological disaster.
Ceramics are the historical markers in archaeology and these pottery vessels are glazed with household products including laundry ingredients such as Borax and washing soda, Johnson’s Baby Powder and diatomaceous earth which is a silica based pesticide used in cat litter and industrial processes derived from the exoskeletons of single cell marine diatoms that died 12 million years ago. Coal slag, a by-product from a coal burning power-plants used as an industrial abrasive have also been included in the glaze.
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