I am fascinated with the malleability of matter. The forms in my work are derivative of nightmares I had when I was a child. My fodder is junk mail, litter, waste & nightmares. My job is to transform these things into art. My work is a meditative practice in alchemy, enantiodromia, positive spin, acceptance & balance.
When there is a negative or downward trajectory of motion inherent to a material, I like to focus my energy on changing that direction. For example, the work I've been doing with plastic bottles -- without intervention, used plastic bottles have basically 2 options: becoming landfill, or maybe getting recycled. In the past year, I have intercepted approximately 30,000 bottles from the waste stream, turning them into art instead of allowing them to go into landfill, our oceans, or the environmentally costly recycling process.
Junk mail shares a similarly depressing fate with the bottles. I have transformed the activity of opening up the mail and finding a depressing mass of garbage and credit card applications into a pleasant experience wherein I am able to discover new batches of art supplies. The language, costly graphic devices and fancy printing used in junk mail also give it a persuasive, positive and personal flavor, which I prefer to use in my art. My practice is essentially about recognizing and embracing new possibilities while encouraging others to do the same.
Aurora is Canadian, but grew up in Hawaii & has lived in New York for 19 years. She currently lives & works in Brooklyn.
The Pittsburgh-Green-Bridge Project is a collaboration among students at CAPA High School and the University of Pittsburgh; the Mattress Factory; artists Constance Merriman, JoAnna Commandaros, Karen Page, Heather White and David Pohl; and residents of Pittsburgh’s urban community and Greenspaces. Under the guidance of artists and with the resources of the Mattress Factory, young people will create individual and collaborative works of public art that bridge and connect Greenspaces with Brownfield or industrial sites, providing corridors of movement and interaction among people plants and animals. Working within the structure of high school and college art classes, as well as the Mattress Factory’s teen program, a group of 15 high school students under CAPA teacher Karen Page will be matched with 15 Pitt students in JoAnna Commandaros Eco Art class. This interdisciplinary project includes study, observation, documentation, discussion, implementation and celebration.