Yeah, yeah, some of you may know about my work, transforming trash into art, http://www.janetbernson.com (plug) but perhaps you are unaware of the real reason I make my art? I’ll explain as best I can.
I am a died in the organic, sustainably raised, sheared by hand, wool environmental activist nut-job, at least that’s what someone called me once – the “nut-job” part that is.
I was, until recently a vegetarian/mostly vegan because I love animals and think they needlessly die when we can get what we need from plants…until I got real sick from some crazy ass Epstein Barr virus that keeps me from eating treenuts (I can now no longer even be considered a “nut-job), dairy (bye bye delicious Brie), gluten (so long croissants), or chocolate – give me dark chocolate or give me death doesn’t even figure in here anymore. To make myself feel emotionally better I am currently creating altars to the animal gods for the sacrifices they are making to feed lil ole me. Anyway where was I?
Oh yeah, environmentalist, trash, art. Okay I’m here again, thinking that you don’t know why I do what I do, art-wise. Well, after the oh so many years of tie-dye, sprouts and knowing, even before it was somewhat tragic-hip, that we are basically committing global harikari (that’s suicide in case you don’t know), and after my dearly departed soulmate, Max Middleton, passed into the Great Beyond, I knew I had to do something to heal myself and hopefully raise the, excuse the woo-woo, vibration of the masses of people who have been lulled into consuming vast quantities of corporate palm-sugar-laced carbon dioxide water mostly stolen from tribal lands and becoming brainwashed by Fox and Breitbart. And what better way to transform our world than take the trash I find on the street and make it something pretty or useful or thought-provoking or, you get the picture.
Frankly, it is often I shake my head in dismay at the masses of folk who believe we are not facing disaster, that Donald Trump is a good guy, that its okay to hurt people you’re afraid of, that LGBTQ people are sinners and that men who rape children or women should get off with a head shake and an insincere scolding. I mean reallly! Who the fuck didn’t raise them? Oops, they are products of our own disregard and our own naivety that all people are as intelligent as we.
Now, once again I may have swayed from my talk about my art and trash and our sooner than we’d rather think about it, potential and quite definitely quicker than we’d like, doom. But then again, maybe not, since i sincerely believe in my progressive, anti-Vaxer (don’t get me started on that subject) eco-warrior, never shy enough for my own good, yet loving puppies, kittens, baby goats and all life in general with few exception, self that maybe people will wake the fuck up, smell the dead whales on our beaches, rotten fish floating in our streams, taste the chemicals in our food and DO SOMETHING NOW!
Face it, we don’t have til 2025 to eliminate plastic bags or bottles, stop utilizing fossil fuels that are polluting our damn drinking water, outlaw and militantly prevent the use of harmful pesticides which are poisoning our pollinators (bees, butterflies, birds) our food supply, quit cutting down trees to make our dwellings, and so much more- you get the picture.
My latest collection of art on which I am working is about our oceans.
For a long time (30+ years) I have been acutely aware of the oil, pesticide and plastic pollution in our precious waters. When faced with the probability we are killing the seas and therefore ultimately you, me and everyone we love (or hate for that matter) I knew I had to do something in my attempt to trigger the necessary “aha moment”.
I am posting with this piece one of my works, “Lunch at the Pacific Garbage Patch”. If it makes you hungry, ok, if it makes you write letters to the stores you frequent/alleged representatives/corporations, pick up some trash in front of you, use less plastic, drive less, use natural, biodegradable soaps, etc then my work is doing that which I intended.
And if you think this is all bullshit, I can unabashedly say “shame on your worthless souls.” I’m probably old enough to be at least your mother or grandmother and you need to listen/take heed and get off your asses. Your future depends on it.