Liz Ashley Martin

December 1-4


Wissahickon Valley Park, along the creek’s edge near Kitchen’s Lane Bridge. Debris - plastic bags suspended in bank’s brush
2020
Photographic polyptych

Wissahickon Valley Park, below Forbidden Drive. Debris - a rusted charcoal grill and brick-patterned packaging
2020
Photographic polyptych


Artist Statement

Philadelphia has a troubled past and present of being a toxic environment. Over the  last three decades, Philadelphia has battled water pollution due to the city’s combined  sewer system. Today, our city is ranked as one of the most polluted in the country.  Beyond the water, this can be felt in the air we breathe and seen on the city’s dusty,  trash-strewn sidewalks. It even bleeds into our “natural spaces.”

In an attempt to freeze and acknowledge the slow violence we, humans, have inflicted  and continue to inflict upon the environment, I investigate and catalogue how the  anthropocentric impact of industry, through the creation of human-made materials  turned debris, is felt across Philadelphia’s landscapes, focusing Wissahickon Valley Park.  My hybrid practice employs the digital medium of photography as a way of seeing and  bearing witness to that which we as an urban society have become blind. By  aestheticizing ecological degradation as a form of slow violence, I seek to implicate the  viewer as consumer and co-creator of debris, engaging each individual’s sense of moral  responsibility.