Statement: Citrus Series

I’m a California-based multi-disciplinary artist, who prefers working with recycled materials.

My interests are in processes, materials, and ways of saving the planet. I find it satisfying to combine and juxtapose non-traditional materials in my work, and I think that everyone needs to combat global warming.

I have been working with citrus peels since 2009, exploring ways to transform this material into finished sculptural forms.

In the Citrus Series, I am drawing attention to the health of the earth via a kind of upcycling. Peel taken from citrus fruits grown in Southern California are applied to a spherical base.

These fruits have been commercially grown in California since the 1840s and have traditionally served as optimistic metaphors in citrus industry advertising, representing both the sun and the Golden State. The covering of the fruit, the flavedo or epicarp, is an uncommon sculptural material, and in this series the peel is transformed from trash into art material.

The spherical shapes allude to the earth or planets; the textures of the citrus peels applied to the surface resemble continents and topography. The dried texture of the peels can signify human degradation of the planet, and the reflection of the fasteners resemble city lights.

Through this series, I am attempting to raise questions about consumption, sustainable industrial farming, the use of pesticides and herbicides, and the state of consumer recycling.

Photo by Eric Minh Swenson, 2021 at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History.