Rooted in the American woman’s handcraft tradition of quilt making, Virginia Fleck’s mandalas are as layered with content as they are with color and material. These intricately crafted, large scaled works reference paintings, but are created by collaging pieces of detritus from a consumerist society revealing the hidden beauty of the overlooked, disposable materials that continually pass through our hands. Fleck’s mandalas made from plastic bags analyze the activity of consumerism as a spiritual encounter. The resulting works, each crafted from thousands of used plastic bags imprinted with familiar logos and slogans, can be both humorous and unnerving. Her large ebullient mandalas are a gleeful explosion of consumerist excess that contain and brand our passions while attesting to our belief in the American Dream.
While traditional Tibetan sand mandalas are conceived as impermanent, Fleck’s mandalas are contrastingly created from non-biodegradable plastic shopping bags, which are as much a commentary on ecological awareness as they are a celebration and elevation of the ordinary objects of our everyday lives.
spin cycle, 2006
located at Whole Foods World Headquarters plaza | 5th street, Austin, Texas
3 backlit mandalas, 55″ diameter, 4″ deep
recycled plastic bags, plexiglass, resin, aluminum, neon