Bar-Ba-Loot: an installation
This early work points to an ongoing preoccupation with social concerns: Bar-Ba-Loot addresses issues of consumption, waste and environmental mismanagement. Based on The Lifted Lorax, a cautionary environmental children’s story by Dr. Seuss, lines excerpted from this text are hand-stamped in blue ink across the walls. Using blue ink and a children’s alphabet stamp set—each letter carrying a small image of a dinosaur--suggests that the endangered animal species whose names cover the adjacent two walls face the same fate as the dinosaurs. The watery blue pattern creates a sense of submersion, an ephemeral “wallpaper”, while the large sculptural driftwood sphere in the centre of the space represents the denuded planet of Seuss’s story. The fourth wall is stamped with the book’s final line: “And all that the Lorax left here in this mess is a small pile of rocks with the one word "UNLESS” and six granite stones carved with the word “UNLESS” sit below on the floor. An arte povera economy of means was important to the theme of reducing consumption.