Audrey Galex - Degraded

Statement

When you see a person experiencing homelessness, standing by the side of the road, you may never think that he or she is a victim of global warming. When you witness people seeking shelter after their homes have been damaged or destroyed by wildfires, floods, and hurricanes or when you see people risking their lives to flee severe drought — you may not make the connection to climate change. When you hear that some people already struggle to pay their soaring utility bills, you may not realize that climate change is the hidden culprit.
It’s easy to remain oblivious or ignore what scientists and now artists are sounding the alarm to address: people are already suffering the effects of what is now a climate crisis and there’s little time to waste.

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Audrey Galex

"Degraded"
Print.
36" x 24"

The Abandoned Mattress Project (AMP) demands you pay attention to what is often overlooked: the used, discarded mattress and the people most vulnerable to the devastating, life-threatening impact of climate change. In this project, mattress becomes metaphor, both for the hidden beauty of an object commonly considered trash, and the inherent value of all people to live their lives, safe and secure, the mattress as the canvas for their life story. The project also invites you to ask — is there a better way — is there a way to repurpose discarded materials? Is there a way to better serve the people who are the most vulnerable?
AMP is an evolving project, one also inspired by my family whose livelihood depended on a mattress factory in the Mississippi River town of Rock Island, Illinois. It is a region still vulnerable to the water's rise and fall, and I remember my father and grandfather sandbagging during a flood in the early 1960s. The community came together to create a wall that saved the town.
I hope this project sounds a similar alarm and rallies people to find common ground and rise to the challenge the climate crisis requires so that all will have a safe, secure place to call home.

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