Paul Chartrand’s sculptural works appear as fossilized textile waste, mysteriously being used to grow flax, which may, in turn, be used to create new, more sustainable clothing.

Artist Statement

Title: Here one day, and the next,
and the next…

The Living City® Report Card (2016) says that textiles and clothing make up about 10% of Toronto’s waste — despite being 95% recyclable — with 85% going to the landfill.

Every aspect of human culture shares a common thread: waste. This side effect of production and end-of-life reality for every object leaves traces of actions which may last for thousands of years. What happens when this waste is forgotten? Will it simply dissolve into the soil, or become fossilized and found by future generations?

This project accounts for this afterlife of clothing, turning them into petrified remnants of society. Perhaps these fossils may be used in the future for various purposes, just as we have used buried materials for millennia. Maybe they will be used to grow flax, one of our oldest cultivated crops, and used to make clothing, sails, canvases and linseed oil. Maybe this flax will form the clothes of the future.

– Paul Chartrand

About the Artist

Paul Chartrand works in the evolving field of environmental art with the motivation to encourage discussion around environmental issues in Canada, such as ecological fragmentation and the ethics of agricultural production.

Paul works with constructed habitats built from found objects and integrated living components. His projects include various mediums and practical methodologies, but focus particularly on sculpture and drawing.

Paul finds inspiration in the blurry definitions of culture and nature; intending for his work to foster dialogue regarding this problematic dichotomy.

Paul completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph in 2013 and his Master of Fine Arts degree at Western University. He has exhibited at galleries including the Niagara Artists Centre, Roadside Attractions, Xpace Cultural Centre, Younger Than Beyonce Gallery, Boarding House Gallery, Artlab and Satellite Gallery, Idea Exchange, the CAFKA Biennial, Y+ Contemporary, Main Squared Festival, and Artspin Portlands.

Project Collaborator

Catherine Leighton, Waste Management Coordinator, Partners in Project Green