Adjoa Burrowes

My current artwork focuses on the cardboard box as a basic utilitarian object. My challenge included how to transform this industrial prefabricated object into art. The production of the sculptures involved mostly tearing with my hands, as opposed to using scissors or knives. If I used scissors, I still tried to maintain the integrity of the object as much as possible. I also refrained from using tape or adhesives to keep materials at a minimum. I was drawn to the contrasting surfaces of these unadorned cardboard boxes that consisted of mostly smooth liner board contrasted with fluted, corrugated layers. By pulling, tearing, peeling and folding, I crafted these object into what I call “naked sculptures.” The wall hung installations, however, incorporate color that was originally printed on the box surface. I crafted these into playful abstract constructions. A single box was used in each sculpture, be it a wardrobe, shoe box or one that contained food.

Using mainly recycled boxes that were a part of my consumption over a period of time, the exhibit forms a type of snapshot of my consumer habits and speaks to issues of mass consumption and waste in modern society. My current art practice interestingly, lies in direct opposition to my former freelance career as a package designer for companies such as Mattel Toys, Disney, and Barnum and Bailey Circus, in which the design of excessive packaging for the purposes of marketing and sales was the rule.