Shopping Cart (2016) by John C. Anderson
Stop by our Visitor Center to check out a sculpture created by Roslindale artist John C. Anderson, titled In the Future We Will Build Our Shopping Carts Out of Sticks and Twigs in Order to Stock Up on The Bones of Our Children. In crafting a true-to-scale replica of a shopping cart out of twigs found in the Arboretum landscape—Anderson comments on the disposability of material culture and challenges our perceptions of beauty, utility, and value. A symbol of mass production and consumerism, the shopping cart comments both on the unsustainability of our resources and our need to reuse and recycle the things we typically cast away.
The twigs, wire, cardboard, and other found objects used in the work were altered by a variety of techniques, from carving and casting to painting and lathe turning. “These materials go through transformations where creation and destruction coexist,” said Anderson, “and accidents become opportunities for making the hidden visible.” Shopping Cart asks us to reconsider our relationship to the things we use and discard, and to discover beauty and meaning where you least suspect to find them. “There is also the challenge of finding beauty or something thought provoking in a mundane object like this,” he continues. “I believe there is poetry in almost everything around me and I enjoy making new relationships that might skew our expectations regarding the familiar.”