Threads of Change”, a solo exhibition by a US based eco-artist Kelsey Merreck Wagner

For more information contact

Sukontip Nakasem

Warin Lab Contemporary

Tel: 083 095 2028


Threads of Change

Kelsey Merreck Wagner

Apr. 6 – May 25, 2024

Warin Lab Contemporary

Warin Lab Contemporary is pleased to announce a solo exhibition titled “Threads of Change” by a US based eco-artist Kelsey Merreck Wagner addressing the issue of plastic consumption and ineffective waste infrastructure that ultimately leads to climate emergency through a weaving project that solicits household plastic waste from the community.

Trained as a fiber artist, Wagner presents 5 vibrant textiles symbolizing the environmental crisis fueled by over consumption and waste mismanagement that leads to environmental ruin at human hands. The immersive experience invites viewers to contemplate environmental transformation and advocate for sustainable practices.

Wagner’s innovative trash-weaving serves as a call for action. Made entirely from discarded materials such as plastic bags, snack packagings, old clothes, scrap fabric, life jackets, Christmas decorations, headphones etc. that she collects from her immediate community and online.

The 5 tapestries in warm hues of red, orange, and yellow are suspended midair symbolizing the climate crisis issue resulting from irresponsible human behavior towards nature and waste mismanagement.

These large scaled tapestries are testament to Wagner’s commitment to sustainability and environmental advocacy. From smaller-scale works created during the pandemic to larger installations, Wagner’s journey from traditional weaving to innovative trash-weavings underscores the power of art as a catalyst for change.

As an eco-artist, anthropologist, and activist, Wagner’s work transcends borders, having exhibited internationally in countries including Cambodia, Thailand, Canada, and Italy. Her ongoing research and art practice focus on human-environment relationships, conservation, and plastic consumption and waste infrastructure, aiming to raise awareness and spark change towards socio-environmental justice.

Through her art, Wagner takes audiences on a historical journey through the urgency of the plastic pollution catastrophe, emphasizing the need for systemic changes in production and consumption patterns. “Threads of Change” is not merely an art exhibition, it’s a rallying cry for environmental stewardship and sustainable practices. Through her transformative art, Wagner aims to inspire hope and catalyze tangible action in the face of climate adversity.

Artwork Description:

  1. Title: Threads of Change

Artist: Kelsey Merreck Wagner

Medium: Trash-Weaving

Dimension: 78 centimeters wide x 12-14 meters long (5 pieces)

Utilizing a Newcomb Studio Art Floor Loom passed down within the community since its 1965 construction, all five weavings detailed here were meticulously crafted at the Western Watauga Community Center’s weaving classroom in Boone, North Carolina, USA, spanning from September 2023 to February 2024. Each weaving demanded approximately 100 hours of labor, totaling over 500 hours collectively. The creative process involved several steps, beginning with the collection of recycled materials sourced through community engagement initiatives, online postings, and organized clean-up efforts, sparking discussions on societal themes like capitalism, consumption, and environmental preservation. Following material acquisition, meticulous cleaning, sorting by color, and cutting into strips ensued, with each strip fashioned into “plarn” (plastic yarn) through hot glue connections. Planning the warp, warping the loom, and executing the weaving process itself, utilizing a plain weave technique, each demanded careful attention to detail and design.

Upon completion, removal from the loom and finishing touches, including adding a stabilizing hem, tying knots, and sewing pockets for hanging dowels, required an additional 2-3 hours per weaving, culminating in a labor-intensive yet deeply meaningful artistic endeavor intertwining community involvement and creative expression.



Posted in