Mylar Art, October 2022
My most current work is an installation called "HELP!" and is comprised of child size clothing that is hanging on a clothesline. The clothes are made out of Mylar balloons that I find discarded in the landscape.
I started working with Mylar balloons in January 2022 when I found a dinosaur balloon floating half submerged in a park pond near our house where my husband and I walk every day. Once I found that dinosaur, Mylar balloons became like manna from heaven; they were everywhere, everyday. All I had to do was walk out of the house and bam I'd find one. They were in trees, stuck to fences, and blowing down the street. They seemed like a message from mother earth and she was screaming HELP! Mylar is metallic coated plastic and is horrible for the environment because it takes so long to decompose. It is horrible for marine life and birds because they consume it.
Mylar balloons are such a great example that there is no place on this planet unaffected by our culture of consuming useless stuff, because they travel! In fact they can fly great distances before the helium dissipates and then they land everywhere, in the middle of oceans, in the middle of deserts, in the middle of forests; they just catch that jet stream and off they go. I'm attracted to working with them because they sparkle (I like bling as much as the next person), they're pliable, I can sew them, and they come in pretty colors. They also give me a way to speak about the impending environmental disaster and to plea with my fellow humans to take personal responsibility in modifying their decisions and choices. We can all do better at saying no to useless stuff. Boycotting is a powerful tool and I believe we can make a difference.
Mollie Thonneson is a multi media artist who over the last 45 years have been flitting back and forth between painting and fabric work. She's always been interested in making art that explores ideas and highlights current issues. Consumerism and the environment are reoccurring themes in her work.