Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Dawn Ertl

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This exhibit is by far my favorite that I have seen in this class. The way that everything was strung up so exquisitely and delicately. It had looked like so much time and effort was put into her artwork and it definitely paid off. Her art is based off the environment, mostly plastic and plastic bags. Dawn collects plastic bags and uses them as inspiration for her artwork. She mentions, “How we treat each other affects the way we treat the environment.” She collects plastic bags and explains how they are sent to a country from the other side of the world such as China or India because “their environmental laws are less strict there and they can do more with the extra plastic and other wastes.” With plastics and other waste materials, she cuts up the plastic bags and weaves them with material such as yarn, wool, other plastics, ribbons, and threads, and she makes these long crochet-like strands and creates her wonderful masterpiece.

She had visions about her artwork before she started making them. She always knew that her art was going to be a certain color or colors and was going to hang from the ceiling. She also included in her vision the idea of interwoven plastics with yarn and other materials but the size and length of the strands depended on the ceiling in which she was to hang her art. Over time, her style developed and changed and Dawn realized that she could make small pieces and strands at the same time and interweave them with other strands.

I really enjoyed visiting this gallery. I looked at her art and all I could think was, “I wish I could take this home with me.” It just looked so pretty and lovely and I’d love to learn how to make art like her if I found the dedication and time to put into it.

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