All Works >> Earlier Works >> Mother Earth >> Babel, ON or 1 Full 2 Empty

Babel, ON or 1 Full 2 Empty

Babel, ON  or 1 Full 2 Empty


This sculpture explores issues of mass consumption and its impact on the environment. Used (non recyclable) coffee cups are diverted from landfill and cast into a stacked aluminum column. The column is precarious and signifies a monolithic corporate structure which we, the consumer, are dwarfed by and often oblivious to. Cars queue for ‘drive thru’ service and their idling creates air pollution. The drive thru and Volkswagen “bug” symbolize both our lighthearted ‘passerby’ attitude as well as the act of polluting. The car is cast bronze (symbolic of industrial man) and the column for this sculpture is made of recycled aluminum car rims. The title to this piece is also multifaceted- because coffee cups are not recyclable, it is useful to consider that for every full coffee cup there are two empty coffee cups in landfill; as well, depending on perspective, (corporate/ human) progress is either half full or half empty.

65.5 x 19 x 19

aluminum, bronze

As I sit back having produced a cacophony of sculpture, I’ve wondered why on earth the need to produce so many? I think that I am acting out my alarm – “more is better” seems to be a shortsighted indulgent human propensity. Mother Earth is an exhibition aimed at telling part of the story of Earth and the clang of her human inhabitants.

I have always been nervous about our impact on the Earth and its kin. “Crying Indian” serves as the backdrop to this exhibition. It is a (silenced) commercial I watched as a child. It has resonated with me throughout my life. Indigenous people considered themselves custodians of the Earth, practicing a philosophy of kindness, reverence, respect and ensuring a healthy environment for a future seven generations. The Earth gives and modern man takes – we rape, we poison, we modify, we indulge. Everywhere we go we create a footprint- above and below us. We cut down trees to build boxy objects, displacing nature and replacing those trees with metal structures. Civilization seemingly trumps nature but at what expense? Production and profit involve destruction; especially a fuelled consumerism that sells products built on cheaper shores.

I’m interested in our impact and negligence – utilizing discarded wood, used coffee cups, abandoned nests, dead Oceana and the like, my intent is to explore issues of displacement, precariousness, recycling, obliviousness, gentrification, distortion and disease as natural consequences of human choice.

Earth is our shelter. Trees make our air. Wildlife sustains us.

Nature dwarfs our existence.

Jane Hook

View Mother Earth

Jane Hook Sculpture