Bianca Kolonusz-Partee

Stuck!
2022, Approx. 24"W x 12"H
Recycled product packaging, Pen & Adhesive

By studying the American ports in person and the Asian ports via the internet I have discovered the strength of the natural landscape asserting itself through the industrial landscape. My first international trip was to the shipping port in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2012. Visiting Sri Lanka confirmed my suspicions that understanding the landscape, people and culture is crucial to my exploration of international trade. We have underwear made where cinnamon natively grows; along with a myriad of delicious spices, nuts & tea. What started as a spice trade seeking out the special things about each place has become a system that overlooks the treasures of the world in pursuit of the cheapest product solutions.

Visiting the rich and complex island of Sri Lanka was a transformative experience. As better infrastructure is developed in Sri Lanka will the breathtaking four-hour train ride from Kandy to Colombo through the heart of the country vanish? Sri Lanka has been colonized by many countries and embroiled in a horrific 30-year civil war and yet their culture shines through. The pure fresh spices that create the delicious food will nourish you and change your perspective forever. Moving my family to Salt Lake City, Utah at the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 has shifted my lens once again. Global supply chain issues have put a spotlight on international trade. The mountain west is a majestic and powerful place and the perfect anchor from which to consider our connectivity and the use of the limited resources we have.

Repurposing the highly designed product packaging of our contemporary world I create simulations of shipping ports that reveal these often ignored places. A global freeway container shipping provides a keen barometer of where we are right now. The environmental impact of shipping such large quantities of goods through mega ports is huge. And yet creating my work from recycled product packaging I have come to realize how influenced I am by the material world that surrounds us. I create highly crafted landscapes directly on the walls that provide viewers a moment to themselves. As travel has been limited the last few years the desire for stuff has increased causing global supply chain issues. My current work positions the Evergiven tanker that got “Stuck!” In the Suez Canal against the open wide landscape in the mountains above Salt Lake City, “Freedom”. I am ever optimistic that we can reach balance between overindulgence and harmony as individuals and as a planet.