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Wreaking Havoc by Jane Meredith Whitten

May 07, 2018

Wreaking Havoc by Jane Meredith Whitten

We are so pleased to share some of Jane Whitten's Wreaking Havoc show that were on exhibit at the Mary E. Black Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia with our online viewers!   

Award-winning basketmaker and knitter Jane Whitten has created a thought-provoking collection inspired by the effects of climate change on our marine landscape.  For inquiries on any of the pieces shown below, please contact us at 

 Sea Stars

Stars by Jane Meredith Whitten

Sea Stars by Jane Meredith Whitten Sea Stars by Jane Meredith Whitten

 Materials: plastic bags cut into strips and knitted

Previous use: single-use shopping bags
Photographs by Hillary Dionne
Climate change is real. Industrialization is wreaking havoc on the environment. We are surrounded by the amazing diversity of nature that is being gravely impacted by our ever-increasing development and abuse.


Kelp by Jane Meredith Whitten   Kelp by Jane Meredith Whitten    Kelp by Jane Meredith Whitten 

Materials: garbage bags cut into strips and knitted 
Photographs by Hillary Dionne
Previous use: These bags have travelled over the ocean from half way around the world. When Jane shipped her things from Australia to Canada she wrapped most things in garbage bags while placing them in the shipping boxes.

My challenge has been to recreate the essence of marine elements. I have experimented with a variety of textile techniques and structures using industrially made materials - preferably discarded. The production of these materials is a major factor in climate change and their disposal is causing global pollution, with dire consequences.

Beach Rocks

Beach Rocks by Jane Meredith Whitten

Materials: coiled beach rope, artificial sinew, encrusted with sand
Previous use: ropes that have washed onto the shore
Photo: Jane Whitten

Although aesthetically pleasing objects can be created out of garbage, they can never replace the original natural ones. Viewers are forced to reflect on the impact of climate change and garbage pollution, and the urgency of taking action. There is hope: we humans are creative, and surely now is the time to put our creativity to work.

Sea Anemone

Sea Anemone by Jane Meredith Whitten Sea Anemone by Jane Whitten

Sea Anemone by Jane Meredith Whitten  

Materials: plastic bags cut into strips woven with plastic strapping, plastic bags cut into strips and crocheted, egg ring, beads, fishing line, sand, pantyhose
Awarded: Awarded Surface Design Assoc Award of Excellence at Beyond the Basics: Jackie Abrams & Friends, FibreWorks Gallery, Madeira Park, BC July 2017
Photographs by Hillary Dionne


Ice Cap by Jane Meredith Whitten

Materials:  knitted from plastic tape and closure plastic bags
Previous destination: an irresistible find from a recycling location
Photo: Jane Whitten

I work on the premise that if I have enough of something I just have to figure out what the material brings to the table and what I need to add to create the desired form. My work is determined by what I’ve been able to hunt and gather. The amount and variety of garbage always horrifies me. I have to reign myself in and be selective in what I collect and use. I understand that if I run out of something, I may not be able to find any more of that specific material…. but I relish in the treasure hunt. 

Sea Urchin              

Urchin by Jane Whitten Urchin by Jane Meredith Whitten

Materials: randomly woven fishing line, lobster tags darned in with fishing line
Collection: the lobster tags were all collected from walks on Nova Scotia beaches 
Photo: Jane Whitten
 To see more of Jane Whitten's artwork on our website click here. Jane's website can be found here.  For more images by Hillary Dionne, please click here.

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