August 8, 2022
This week we recognize Blue McRight and Blue McRighher dedication to the elimination of plastic pollution and the protection of our oceans.
"My world of artmaking is deeply immersive. I cross the wires of intention and chance to see what will happen, and the resulting shock rings me like a bell. I am struck, hollowed out, reverberating, transfixed until interrupted by dinner or some other distraction, whereupon my reaction is and always will be “five more minutes.” I am dedicated to creating a visual, metaphoric language about water and the ocean, synthesizing years of witnessing the undersea wilderness as a scuba diver. In ways that are provocative, but more poetic than didactic, my work engages with major environmental issues including drought, sea level rise and ocean plastic pollution."
"The organic processes of life behaviors, gender fluidity, reproduction, and death in marine creatures and their environments inspire me. These processes are timeless, unsentimental; outside of humans’ shifting cultural and political values. They continue with or without us. I trust their beauty, their indifference, their violence and integrity."
"Like an octopus, each of my arms has its own brain. The thoughts in my hands guide me: knotting and tying, cutting, sewing, and binding, I make each sculpture in cycles of repetition and improvisation. I utilize fishing nets, fish and crab traps, and bait baskets; though porous, they carry the weight of phantoms. They speak to life, death, struggle, capture, escape, despair, longing, and elation. They enable my formal and narrative exploration of transparency, weight and weightlessness, color, texture, and volume."
"My mind is in the gutter; constantly looking for plastic straws and lids in the street and on the beach. Along highways and at gas stations, I gather fallen urban fruit from the filthy orchard of our consumer culture. I insist that plastic trash such as salvaged nets, rope, straws, lids and other objects can be beautiful as material for artwork, forcing us to confront the possibilities of what we thoughtlessly discard, giving agency to the rejected as it assumes space in the realm of cultural dialogue, alluding to what is overlooked and wasted."
"The ultimate meaning of my work resides in engaging viewers while remaining elusive, in making personal and poetic connections to the conflict between nature and a culture of consumption. It speaks to our present era of the Anthropocene. It makes no predictions as to its outcome." Click image above for video interview
Blue McRight's work explores the psychological and cultural terrain between nature, personal experience, and politics. She creates works that include found objects such as vintage nozzles and sprinklers, rubber hoses, faucets, and used books as well as natural ephemera such as trees and tree branches. The objects undergo transformative operations that abstract them while enhancing their realist core. McRight studied at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1974 to 1975 and the Evergreen State College from 1977 to 1979. She began exhibiting in the early 1980s and has been included in numerous group shows including at the Delaware Art Museum, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The artist has received public sculpture commissions from the City of Ventura, Culver City, Los Angeles, San Buenaventura and San Diego, all in the state of California. McRight has received grants from the Santa Fe Arts Council, and her work is included in the public collections of Sun America in New York, the Port of Portland in Oregon, Chemical Bank in New York, the Delaware Art Museum, Mountain Bell in Colorado, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Palm Springs Arts Museum. She lives and works in Venice, California. bluemcright.com
Featured Images: ©Blue McRight, The Invisible Obvious, 2021, studio installation, mixed media, dimensions variable; Antigone/Drink Me: Siren, 2014, mixed media, 60 x 111 inches; Quench: Well Wisher, 2012, mixed media, 50 x 43 x 29 inches; Fathom, 2020, installation including salvaged ocean plastics, lids, nets, rope and objects, dimensions variable; Font, 2016, used books, rubber hoses, vintage brass faucets and sprinklers, wood and metal, installation for COLA Individual Artist Fellowship exhibition, 9 x 12 x 15 feet; Still image of artist taken from COLA video interview 2016 (below).