Albatross Accending the Bridge, Margaret Craig exhibited The Albatross at Luminaria 2016 at San Antonio’s Hays Street Bridge on November 10, a live performance of her Great Trash Reef installation.The Albatross references Samuel Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In the poem, a sailor has killed an albatross, a sign of good luck to mariners, and must wear the dead albatross around his neck as penance. The ghost albatross is an accusation against humanity- symbolizing the penance we all must share for the pollution of the oceans. The trash reef dragging behind me is not unlike the chains Jacob Marly wore in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol symbolizing the sins of life he must carry with him. Image credit: Sean Ward
My work is about the manipulation of form that transforms the idea; a re-creation of the multilayered process found in nature. A degree in biology informs my work. The Scientific process controls my work. Each layer is a response to the results of the last experiment. The underlying imagery for me is about other worlds, and the portals between- worlds found under the microscope, among the stars, down drains, in conduits and within black holes. There are skins, translucent membranes on which the universe resides and puckers…But they also may be on leaves and pond scum floating past on the surface of water, or in the plastic and trash floating in the ocean gyres that evolves and is incorporated into new life.
My art is a contemplation of the ways we affect the plants and animals around us, and, how we may be affected by them. The indirect process I use to make my work evokes a quality of human over manipulation.My intent is to create work that will engender thought about the relationship between humans and their surroundings.
My most recent work references the pollution of all kinds- refuse, plastics and atmospheric pollutants that threaten the land and oceans. Trash vortexes are concentrated by currents in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. These break down into smaller neurostanic bits, or nurdles. Tragically, as the plastic breaks down, animals eat the nurdles thinking it is food. I have created an ongoing project using trash and salvaged materials from different areas of the world to create alternative life forms. My premise is that with all the trash humans have dumped in the ocean, life must evolve to survive, and so will use that abundant, synthetic material to evolve in new ways, possibly replacing calcium as a base for shells and exoskeletons as the increased CO2 in the ocean has made calcium less available. My work is a meditation on the great extinction and what will come after, and how nature will use this abundant resource we have created to evolve new life forms. It is a little incongruous, creating beautiful creatures out of trash, but it gives viewers a way to contemplate the ecological issues.The use of recognizable material aids in the awareness and personalization of the greater phenomenon occurring in the oceans. It also re-purposes garbage before it ends up in an incinerator, landfill, or ocean.