My work reflects upon and critiques cultural ironies by using contemporary, popular visual language—most of which focuses solely on content creation and trivial engagement. Contrasted against these themes, my work also gravitates toward highlighting private moments with a focus on the seemingly mundane or minute.
This project critically examines content creation, the self, and social media by exploring the aesthetics of the digital space in relationship to the waste produced in real time. By pairing flowers with plastics in the Ikebana style, now popularized by Instagram, we see the contrast between our commitment to our individual portrayals versus a commitment to well-being on a global scale. The series combines the digital presentation of a posed image with the off-screen environment it potentially threatens.
Started days after participating in the Global Climate Strike, this project is the result of personal introspection and a self-critique of my own habits and the habits of those I admire. The use of materials is calculated. All plastic is a by-product of my lifestyle, the fabric is upcycled, and only natural light was used. Despite a minimal appearance, each image aims to confront the viewer to consider the journey behind it—the transportation of the plants, the life span of the plastics, and the dye pollution caused by the fabrics, all of which are contributing to a ripple effect in rising temperatures. It begs the question of how much waste goes into an image even if nothing appears extraneous or damaging.
Ultimately, the series emphasizes the need for a changed mindset. I want the viewer to walk away with more questions: to ask themselves how they contribute, what they can change, and what more needs to be done. Without context, the images appear as just another set of floral photos. But armed with increasing awareness of the damage our own actions are causing to the subject, we begin to know the dangers implied and the need for personal and global change.