In Contra Naturam – sin against nature, Michelle Lougee is looking closely at our most precious but compromised resource water. In fact she's looking very closely, by examining macro- and micro-organisms with her signature material, post-consumer plastic bags. It is a new look at our habits, ourselves and our precious planet. In a large installation entitled Ubiquitous, Lougee envisions the abstract microscopic inhabitants of a drop of water. The vibrant, textural forms want to wiggle and stretch out, eager to colonize the surroundings.
These works elicit a tension with nature. Produced from collected post-consumer plastic that would otherwise find its way to a landfill, they are easy to look at, cheerful even, but they represent deep problems in our culture and environment. Since the human body is 60% water, it quickly becomes personal.
Also on display are textural collage drawings formed from plastic bags. These are stitched and layered with other castoff bits including papyrus, cloth, paper and drawings. The pieces reference the world around us. They can be interpreted as landscapes or cell structures, or sometimes both simultaneously.
“These textural works evoke microscopic structures, suggesting an underlying unseen world that is bulging with possibilities and life.”
– B. Lynch, Director, Trustman Art Gallery