The Great Trash Reef
January 2 – February 15, 2015
Featuring Margaret Craig
My work is derived from printmaking methods; mixed media with or without support, and prints stretched over forms using a technique I developed. My work is about the manipulation of form that transforms the idea; a recreation of the multilayered process found in nature. A degree in biology informs my work. The process controls the work, each layer response to the results of the last experiment. The outcome proves the hypothesis of what might happen and leaves me open to surprising results. I create synthetic natural processes, think pond scum or the dry earth cracking, in the service of my making. My art extends the process of human manipulation of natural influences. It concerns contemplation of the ways we affect the plants and animals around us, and, sometimes how they may affect us.
The Great Trash Reef speculates on the state of our oceans. There are giant islands of trash gathered by currents in the centers of our oceans. The predominant component is plastic. Tragically in some cases, as it breaks down animals eat it thinking it is food. But there is also water skating insects that use it as places to lay eggs and have grown in population. At the same time, CO2 in the environment is causing less global warming than thought, as oceans absorb it. But this also acidifies the oceans, and sea life cannot form shells from the traditional calcium. Perhaps it will use this new readily available ingredient?
Margaret Craig received a degree in Biology Secondary Education, a BS in Art and an MA in Painting from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She later received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Texas at San Antonio. As a leader in innovative printmaking techniques, inventing Tar Gel Pressless Etching, she has demonstrated that and other techniques at printmaking conferences. Often involved in trade portfolios, Craig exhibits prints and sculpture all over the world.
Currently, she is Professor and Chair of Printmaking at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX. Her original Biology degree has been a significant influence in the visual and ecological context of her work, and her shop promotes a less toxic approach to printmaking.
Craig has a serious boyfriend, one housemate, three cats and one overly energetic parrot, who rules everybody. Parts of her car are held together with duct tape.