Tess’ message is to clean up the mess

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on December 19, 2019

CONVEYING an environmental message through her craft is an element of art Albany resident Tess Bryant takes pride in.

She hopes people will reconsider where their food waste goes and how it is used when it is thrown away after viewing her latest exhibition Afterlife, on display at Vancouver Arts Centre from January 9-27.

“Much of my interest comes from a sustainability perspective as I try to reduce waste in all areas of my life,” Bryant said of her textile and fibre art.

“Natural dyeing is a great synergy between my creative and sustainable sides.”

Bryant practises traditional crafts, an art form she says tends to be fairly cost-friendly and sustainable in terms of materials.

According to her, if people could utilise these methods before electricity and factories, then it must be good.

“As part of my anthropology degree, we discussed the Anthropocene – the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment,” she said.

“As the political climate starts to acknowledge the massive impact recent human activity has on the earth, I want to discuss this in a creative way.

“Food waste in landfill is a big contributor to greenhouse gases and I have found some food waste can be so useful; what a waste to let it go to landfill.”

Bryant prefers natural dyes over industrial as she says the latter is a major polluter and uses a lot of water.

She can source natural dyes from her own kitchen and backyard.

“So, the exhibition theme, afterlife, refers to the ‘after-life’ of things – giving food waste a second use, as well as alluding to the broader theme of after the ‘Anthropocene’ and climate change,” Bryant said.

There will be a special exhibition opening of Afterlife at Vancouver Arts Centre commencing at 6pm on January 8