Lisa Barthelson


The family debris series communicates my perspective on motherhood, childhood, feminism, consumerism and my life, through the choice of materials and how I use them. Everyday objects or our ‘family debris’, selected for their visual properties and significance, are re-arranged and composed to create a narrative that provokes questions about who we are and how we live. The permanent and ephemeral objects acquired: cast off and finally preserved as art materials and visual elements, tell the story of our family of five through the choices we've made. The creative challenge is fueled by part imagination, part anguish, part humor and equal parts guilt. Did we buy into the contemporary folklore that we need all this stuff to be ever young, happy, fulfilled, a good parent, American? The family debris series is in essence pleasurable penance for a family using and discarding ‘too much’. All the ‘stuff’ we wanted, but did not need, did we enjoy it? In the end: waste not, want not: reconsider, re-imagine and re-use it all.