When I came across Portia Munson's work and started reading a little bit about it the word recycling came to mind but that's not what this is about. Recycling might be my way of minimizing the painful message that is being brought forth. Munson works in a variety of mediums including: installation, sculpture, painting and digital photography. Through her work she considers carefully the affects of consumerism and artificial things upon the environment, and gives particular attention to their impact on women. Her process as she describes it includes "collecting objects and assembling, in essence using as my resource the refuse of consumer culture."
In the installation "Pink Project" a collection of feminine items in various shades of pink are arranged in mass on a table. How she chooses to arrange the found objects can vary from size, shape and shade or just be random. One is prompted to consider pink in connection to femininity and the accumulation of things in general. For me, I questioned why we buy this stuff? Is the pink seductive? Does it tell us something about ourselves as women? The sheer mass of it in the art form makes me feel a bit of repulsion that I wouldn't ordinarily experience as these things are mixed into our culture everywhere and less noticeable on the shelves.
Another installation that I found interesting was the "Botanicals Below Bryant Park". This was inspired by the death of a family member. It was interesting to read how often Munson considers her work meditative. In this piece she takes flower petals from her garden and creates circular images much like mandalas. She transforms how the viewer experiences petals and their color through these arrangements. For the artist flowers connect to healing. Through the installation she hoped to bring smiles to the numerous commuters and travelers that pass through this location daily while bringing nature into a place it wouldn't normally be. "Reflecting Pool", referenced at the top, is another installation consisting of multiple works including digital photography. As part of the project, an above-ground pool was filled with found plastic objects in shades of blue. The blue being representative of water and sky while the reality of the contents of the pool spoke to trash the artist picked up on the roadside, and in landfills. The surrounding pieces in the exhibition include carefully scanned images of flower petals sometimes with scanned images of dead animals. Each piece was constructed in a mandala like format. One article made reference to them being like "petal adorned wildlife shrines." I have to say I really like Munson's work and how she's choosing to make her statement. It is recycling on a profound and creative scale that provokes a recycling of thought on some important issues. This is just a small sample of her work. Please Google her for more information or visit her website. www.portiamunson.com