British Columbia Sun

Vancouver photographer has turned mask waste into photogenic art


Key takeaways: 

  • Michelle Leone Huisman gathered the masks on strolls with her dog.
  • Michelle Leone Huisman’s Light as a Feather is an element of her photography series, Global Pandemic, where she expects to spread the attention about mask trash amid COVID-19. 

Michelle Leone’s fantastic photogenic artwork: 

A good art photographer clears light on waste problems in the pandemic and the weather emergency by using disposable mask garbage in her art.

“My actual show is more regarding just getting the two ‘pandemics’ together, I want individuals to be conscious of COVID-19 along with the condition of the environment, and I wanted to say it this way,” Michelle Leone Huisman spoke on CBC’s The Early Edition.

According to a 2020 study issued in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, humans worldwide use about 129 billion disposable face masks and 65 billion plastic gloves each month.

To create her images, Huisman states she utilized a 19th-century photographic printing process, called tri-color gum bichromate over palladium — a technique, she says, that makes the photo look like a watercolor painting. 

Also read: RCMP probes B.C. First Nation staff associate sold land for 1/3 its worth

Garbage of mask turned to a beautiful artwork by Michelle Leone

She adds that the process is also meant to make the image last nearly 500 years.

“They’re hand-painted pictures, so I do value the technique; it’s almost a five-day process just to make one picture,” she told.

She says she liked the pictures to be archival.

“What I liked to do is say it in a way that was lasting and noteworthy because I’m a mom and I have two kids, I began to think regarding what the future holds for our kids so the series, I wish it prompts an awareness in the audience of the two ‘pandemics’ that we’re encountering, apparently COVID and then the more insidious of the trash of producing what we’ve had during this pandemic.”

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