Bellevue Arts Museum Eastside
Oct 4, 2019–March 8, 2020, Wednesdays–Sundays
Recommended by Jasmyne Keimig
In Hidden in Plain Sight, Seattle-based artist Maria Phillips dove headfirst into interrogating her own consumption habits. This two-part exhibition was made using nonrecyclable plastics and single-use items mostly generated by Phillips and her family of four over the course of nine months. One part features small-scale works of takeout box towers, nylon rope clusters, and video installation. But it's the other part that is truly overwhelming in both its beauty and its horror. In a gallery all its own, Undercurrent: Plasticene takes up the entire space. Referencing the name that some scientists suggest would best describe our current plastic geological age, her piece measures 15 feet wide, 15 feet tall, and 100 feet long. Phillips carefully stitched together close to a thousand different pieces of nonrecyclable plastic using flat irons she bought at Goodwill. The front half of the tapestry is hung to resemble a waterfall, composed of single-use plastic bags of different colors and sizes, pooling onto the floor.