The campaign “eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day” is in full swing, urging us to be mindful of our health. Unfortunately, this one-way selective advertising is, by default, promoting the ‘throw away’ culture. To what extent are we urged to be mindful of the packaging, their outcome and the way fruits and vegetables are farmed? The aim of this project is to foster a two-way sustainable mindfulness. I’m interested in creating new ways of treasuring the synthetic materials as much as the nutrients they deliver. If charity begins at home, the mantra “5 fruits and vegetables a day” is of immediate relevance: the focus on our physical wellbeing is clearly out of proportion compared to the attention given to the becoming of the synthetic wrappings. These we cast aside as junk, much like careless lovers throwing out the letter after savouring the sweet words. In this sense, my current work revolves around shifting the mind-set of the ‘throw away’ culture towards a creative metamorphosis of matter. In so doing, I want to support a cultural eco-friendly commitment. My intention is also to ‘upcycle’ the discarded produce bag. Take away its derogatory junk label by uplifting it to a noble material worthy of recognition and gratitude. By placing it as a reusable material in the circular economy I convert it into a valuable resource. But more so, if we perceive these envelopes as tangible proof of what we’ve consumed, then they are no longer junk but testimonials: a way to cherish nature’s generosity. It’s this attention that restores human bond with nature and stirs up the desire to be more actively involved in the ecological transition. This project comprises a recall of “5 forget-me-not a day”, as an echo to the mantra: “eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day”. The installation is to be symbolic of love letters from Nature. The box is an allusion to thrift, reminiscent of those special containers in which our grand-mothers stored things. I want to give the viewer a tactile framework by which to celebrate matter: nurture the soul as much as the body.
© photos Eva Lopez