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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River M├ętis. More

The Essentialists Exhibition

Artwork Gallery

Photographic documentation of multicolour artwork
Photographic documentation of multicolour artwork.

Artist Statement

Artist Name: Abby Kettner

Title: Porous Polyurethane

Medium: Sponges and acrylic paint on canvas

Size/Dimension: 24 x 30 inches

Year: 2020


Artist Statement:

Porous Polyurethane explores the process and lifecycle of an unerotic and overly familiar object: the kitchen sponge. Before making this piece, I was unaware that synthetic sponges are often made out of polyurethane, a plastic made from crude oil distillation. I had never given thought to how sponges were made and because they don’t have the obvious plastic texture, I never thought about the harm their material perpetuates. Porous Polyurethane shows the sponges’ haphazard transition from black, sticky oil to the colourful, absorbent, squishy forms I am used to seeing sit beside my kitchen sink. Little did I know that the time the sponge spends beside my sink is actually the shortest part of its journey. This object, a thing that I claim to know, lived long before it met me, and after we’ve said our goodbyes, it will go on to out-live me by thousands of years.