A product of disintegration, destruction, or wearing away.
Ecology: non-living organic matter, including leaves, animal remains, and feces, which falls into soil or bodies of water to then be broken down by decomposers and detritivores.
Detritus foreshadows humanity’s fate in the context of the climate crisis. Mosses, liverworts, and fungi – all ancient organisms that have lived far longer than we can imagine – consume human figures in grotesque, fantastical ways, reducing them to a state of detritus. The figures beg the question of our fate amidst a collapsing environment: perhaps an untimely death to humanity is closer to destiny than it is to destruction – maybe that is what it means to be human.
Beginning within the body, the spores of these ancient organisms take root in the host’s lungs, eventually spreading to other organs by way of the blood stream. Referencing the speed and severity at which the climate crisis affects our world, the moss, liverworts, and fungi erupt from the figures in a solemn beauty, releasing new spores which will go on to infect other hosts at an exponentially increasing rate.
I am interested in the permanence of ceramic: the works in Detritus will continue to live for thousands of years after my death. They are, compared to the average human life span, immortal. In a conceptual push and pull between the permanent and the temporary, I have used ceramics and works on paper to comment on the lasting impact that humanity has had on the environment. Forever is a long time, and the ceramic works will tell our contemporary story for generations to come, while the works on paper mirror humanity’s mortality. For too long, humanity has chosen to ignore the damage that we have caused the planet, and as a consequence to our own inaction, one day we shall pay the ultimate price.