© 2023 by GRIFFITH AARON BAKER. All rights reserved.

MMXLII

The original impetus for this installation was a reaction to a continuous environmental catastrophe which has been occurring off the Southeastern U.S. coast since the early seventies.  The State of Florida attempted to replace a coral reef that had been swept away due to the increase in dragnet fishing over the past century.  They introduced a mass of used rubber tires into the ecosystem, hoping that the local flora and fauna would interact with it in the same manner as the coral.  Equal to the area of thirty-one football fields, the nylon and steel bands holding the tires together have broken loose over the past thirty years, washing the rubber tires out to sea. Massive portions of these tires have continued to collide with the remaining natural coral, and has devastated the ecosystem there and abroad. 

 

The plastic forms are made from everyday objects: bottle caps, bottles or various shapes and colours, toys, packaging, and so forth.  They are cut into smaller pieces and 'laminated' with a heat activated polymer in the same fashion as one would join wood.  One a rough shape is created, the plastic and polymer is carved down to a more refined shape.  The carving process itself created interesting combinations of plastic and adhesive that are also incorporated into the sculpture (see the solid blue coral forms and the more organic blue shapes below).