Adriane Herman's exhibit features bales of compressed recyclables.

'Out of Sorts' is about how and why we recycle in our physical and emotional landscapes, and asks viewers to consider consumption from personal, community, and global perspectives.

The following excerpt is sourced from an article published in the Portland Press Herald, by Bob Keyes


Adriene Herman, an interdisciplinary Maine artist and MECA Professor of the MFA in Studio Art and Printmaking, began spending time at a local landfill after a series of events in her life that included a divorce, the death of her dog, and issues with work and family. As she began sifting and sorting through both emotional and physical baggage, she grew “ever more curious about the parade of people who drove up in their cars and trucks and unloaded piles of trash, debris and personal belongings – the detritus of life and other things far more personal.”

“She watched as they threw their stuff into the bins and piles, drawn by their gestures of release and inspired by their ability to shed. ‘The tide comes in and washes out, and it brings things in and cleans things out. But humans tend to hold on to things. We don’t tend to let things go until we’re forced to,’ she said.”

“At the dump, Herman began to learn to let go and process the grief in her life. “I let go of my dog. If I could let go of my dog, I could let go of anything,” she said. The process of letting go led Herman to her art project Out of Sorts, an exhibition that took place at Speedwell Projects in Portland that explored the cycle of consumption, release and recycling, both physically and emotionally.”

Contemporary Portland art gallery Speedwell Projects opened last February and was founded by photographer Jocelyn Lee, who formerly taught at MECA.

“Out of Sorts was about how and why we recycle in our physical and emotional landscapes, and asked viewers to consider consumption from a personal, community and global perspective. She wanted people to think “about how we eat, drink, work, play and clean,” and the attention we pay to the implications of disposability and excess to the planet and our culture. She also wanted to show people how they could reduce consumption and save money for their communities by recycling more wisely, and to help them plan strategies for personal release.”

“Among the items on view were five bales of recycled materials on loan from ecomaine, the nonprofit waste-management agency that handles recycling across southern Maine, as well as photos of Herman’s trash being incinerated and recycled material being sorted at ecomaine’s Portland plant. The exhibition included benches made from salvaged wood and upholstered with fabric printed with Herman’s photographs.”

Read more at the Portland Press Herald website.


Header Image: Adriene Herman (photography)