Want to support a discussion on biodiversity, know of a cool tech office space, or maybe you just like gin?

Land transformation due to human activity poses the greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide. It's not enough to expect industry to do better, it's for all of us to be part of the solution.

Between 1999 and 2015, human activity in Alberta visibly converted over 23,000 km2 of native ecosystems into residential, recreational, or industrial landscapes, an area 3.5 times the size of Banff National Park.

source

While I do try to be as environmentally conscious as possible with my medium, I’m aware of the carbon footprint of glass. Tempered glass cannot be recycled, in fact the City of Calgary suggests you put it in your garbage bin to go right to the landfill. I’d like to give this material a new life with a body of work that speaks not only to recycling, but humankind’s growth and adaptation of the natural landscape and the consequences to Canada’s animal population.

The glass sculptures will be water jet cut from large fused thick slabs of once broken tempered window glass. The sculptures, life-size silhouettes of endangered Albertan wildlife would appear almost ghostlike made from the light greenish hazy glass. These ‘ghosts’ would then be photographed in urban landscapes that have replaced their natural habitat, creating an engaging portrait of loss that the viewer can’t ignore. Examples might be a school of ‘ghost’ Bull Trout swimming through a grocery store, a Swift Fox walking through a building construction site or a family of burrowing owls sitting on a new community playground. The images paired with the sculptures in a gallery exhibition would have an eerie beauty.

How you can help

I have received a generous amount of grant funding from the Canada Council for the Arts to begin the creation of this new work, but I still need to acquire a few pieces to finish the puzzle. 

Gin anyone?

The sculptures are made from broken tempered window glass which I have ample amounts for the first phase, but I'd love to create at least one slab (or one or two animals) from recycled Bombay Sapphire Gin Bottles. The beautiful blue of the bottles is similar to our glacial waters here in Alberta.

To create one of the large cast slabs, I need roughly 70 lbs of glass - that's a lot of gin. Let's say an empty bottle weights roughly 450g. I'd need about 70 big bottles - that seems doable right Calgary?

If you have an empty or have a contact at a restaurant, bar, or bottle depot that might be willing to help a gal out, please let me know. Email Michelle

Drops of empty Bombay bottles can also be made to the following location:
8808 33 Ave NW, Calgary, AB
Just pop them inside the back gate, next to the garage door in the back alley.

Pro tip: Follow my Instagram for posts on how I water shock these bottles so I can then cast them.

    Art Cards

    Even with the Canada Council grant, I'll be needing to raise a good amount of funds to create the work, so I've created art cards that directly benefit the project. The cards are collections of previous work aa well as some cheeky thank you and birthday cards.

    Shop the art cards

     

    March 11, 2021 — Michelle Atkinson