“The Newtown Creek Armada is an art installation that invites the public to explore the past, present and future of a contaminated New York City waterway. The Newtown Creek, a Superfund site bordering Brooklyn and Queens, is one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States. In September 2012, visitors to The Armada piloted a fleet of artist-made, miniature, remote-controlled boats along the surface of the Newtown Creek while documenting the hidden world of its waters using waterproof video cameras.
The Newtown Creek Armada is a collaboration between artists Laura Chipley, Nathan Kensinger, and Sarah Nelson Wright. The initial installation in 2012 was presented in partnership with the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition (nbART) and with support from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the North Brooklyn Boat Club. The Armada has received grants from the Hudson River Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, In Our Backyards (ioby), Macktez, and Feast Brooklyn. It has been made possible through the support of many community organizations and individuals.”
The work shown ranges from video installations in portholes to micro-mini hyper realistic paintings pinned onto the wall. The subjects dealt with promote environmetal awareness by encouraging a re-thinking of our daily patterns. Leftovers contributes to the ongoing commentary and debate surrounding the problems of garbage disposal, and/or recycling such as where and when we recycle, and just who has access to recycling
The New Town Creek Armada, consisting of Sarah Nelson Wright, Laura Chipley, and Nathan Kensinger, combines multi-media with film footage to a powerfully communicative affect by investigating and exposing illegal dumping in various bodies of water and other sites. Also, Christina Freeman addresses related issues with her installation of a participatory work which employs an open suitcase. Gallery visitors are invited to bring in and exchange anything from an item of clothing to knickknacks to food.
Scott Sjobakken and Rachel Grobstein similarly call attention to the problems of recycling and trash disposal by painting in a hyper-realistic fashion. Both artists depict more than realistic renditions of literal trash such as cigarette butts and garbage bags, both playing with puns. Rachel Grobstein creates smaller-than-small, three-dimensional, pieces hand-painted on paper that seem to float on the wall. The piece de resistance here, and perhaps of the entire show, is a Liliputian roll of toilet paper 1/8” in diameter.