For Adriano

Creation Date



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paint, glitter, and tinsel on Styrofoam™, wood, and lamination, and preserved 'real' butterflies


Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 12 feet (irregular, largest dimensions)

Artist Statement

My work tends to focus on things such as human rights’, waste and pollution, and feminist issues but also dabbles in more personal subject matter such as this series that I am dedicating to one of my best friends who recently passed away. My intent is to shed light onto the marginalized members of society, or the alternative ways of thinking that the main stream populace doesn’t seem to quite understand by using the marginalized materials of the fine arts’ world in my sculptures. So often people claim that they are open minded, until they meet someone who does not share their values, culture, or morals; my art attempts to push the boundaries of the traditional sculpture communities’ ways of thinking in the same way that alternative ways of living life do. I try to address these issues with the materials I choose to use; often employing textiles, decorative paper, glitter, trash, and an assortment of laminated material instead of the usual materials so often employed by the ‘fine artist’.

I work best carving away at my media; first choosing materials that have a positive tactile and visual response to my hands, eyes, and mind and then slowly I begin to create vague shapes that interest me. Sometimes they materialize as simple shapes that represent deeper meanings; such as flowers or nature imagery to represent women or women’s’ issues or slices of garbage, paper, or laminant to represent the pieces of society that we tend to throw away without another glance such as people with alternative life styles, service industry workers, immigrants, people suffering from mental illness, or the impoverished. For this series I chose butterflies and their life cycle to express how important my dear friend was to myself and so many others in his short but phantasmagoric life. I then process my materials in many ways; cutting, ripping, burning, dying, braiding, melting, and coating with wax or gelatin are just some of my more common processes that I employ to finish my pieces.

Although my art may seem perplexing at first I want to invite the viewer to explore their own confusing curiosity, in hopes that they might sense something that leads them to being conscious about the issues I am trying to talk about. Arbitrary judgments about alternative people or materials are so often the cause of large gaps in empathy or understanding in both the fine arts’ world and the real world. The bizarre yet beautiful qualities of my sculptures represent something extremely emotional to me, which is bringing awareness to this gap in our society and in the world. Far too many people don’t understand what it is to be a marginalized member of society. Being forgotten in a world so full of people is something completely foreign to them. I let the materials control the pace and structure that my work takes; working from loose plans I never fear what my work may become, but welcome the journey and process of becoming.


© Susan Marget Harris, 2015. Photo Credit: Allison Corona.


color, glitter, materiality, fantasy, sculpture, installation