Eco Gift Boxes Manchester, NH 2004
These gift boxes represent a collaboration with students at the Chester College of New England. I composed a project that was meant to challenge the students’ perspectives of art, activism and landscape while also acting as a mechanism to raise environmental awareness within community. I prompted the students to create a contrasting diptych about their interpretation of Nature and what they consider important; an image of purity versus an image of development.
With the boxes in hand, I led students through downtown Manchester to give out boxes to random strangers. Some boxes we left on store shelves, doorways or cubbies for people to find on their own terms. I was particularly interested in exploring interaction between strangers post 9/11. How do we engage strangers on the street today? How do we receive something unknown?
Each box also contained the following statement:
This gift box is an offerings to you.
Our surrounding landscape, hidden by pavement, architecture and highway, still looms in the distance. We cannot escape our need for air and water, sun and earth, nor should we try. We are inextricably connected to Nature; we cannot live without the birds or the fish or the trees. This offering is a talisman lest we forget that Nature is precious. Our development must be tempered, so that the air and water do not poison and the sun and earth do not burn.
Eco Gift Boxes, 2004