Earth Art – Carrie Ziegler

Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect 2014Art is an incredible tool for change. It penetrates deeply inside of the viewer, encouraging them to ask questions they may otherwise avoid. My artwork strives to bring issues of Environmental and Social Justice and personal development to the front of the viewer’s experience. Whether I am working on a large-scale participatory art installation, a public mural, or am in my studio creating with various materials, my work revolves around these subjects. To affect positive change through art is my quest.

In my work, the subject matter drives the medium. When working on a project about plastics in the ocean, up-cycled plastic is the obvious choice. When working to beautify a bike trail in an industrial zone, paint transforms a graffiti-filled wall into something magical. What links my work is the inclusion of many people in the creation and the goal of engaging viewers and inspiring them to make a positive change in their own lives.

My recent projects have included hundreds of people in their creation, allowing for a project that is much larger and wider of scope than any I could do alone. These projects give ownership to all involved, and inspire the viewer through the story of their creation. There are countless layers woven into the pieces, compelling the viewer to delve deeper, if they so choose.

For example, when people view the suspended installation, Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect, they are first mesmerized by hundreds of butterflies gently spinning and reflecting the light. When they notice that together, the butterflies form a human figure, emerging from a chrysalis, with butterflies of change flying from her heart, they are overcome with awe. When they hear the story of how the piece was made of up-cycled plastic trash, by 700 children and young adults, as a message of hope and inspiration, of personal choice and empowerment, they are mobilized to ask questions and look at their own actions and how they are personally affecting the world.