Using 100% cotton fabric soaked in beeswax, a prehistory technique for the first ‘plastic’ used by humans, and also as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, Amato created Three Workers while AIR at Bethany Arts Community this past Fall (2020). Her intention was to install this work outside, on the grounds of Bethany to live out their days biodegrading in nature, but due to unsuitable extreme weather, the sculptures were installed in one of Bethany Arts Community’s galleries.
Three Workers follows on from Amato’s work using used bed sheets sourced from eBay that came from all corners of the U.S. as soon as the pandemic hit earlier this year, and at a time when the country shut down its doors to social gatherings, social interactions, and social work situations. Three Workers references the work the bees undertook to produce the wax used in the sculptures but also the remote worker in our current climate, devoid of physical movement, human interaction and in-person dynamics. The sculptures are as if frozen in time, captured in a moment of movement. They are made using natural materials that are biodegradable, an important aspect for Amato whose practice has incorporated organic matter in the past. The biodegrable aspect maks these sculptures vulnerable and susceptible to change, even if ever so slightly, as they respond to temperature changes during their lifetime in the gallery and, over time, to eventually be taken to the compost bin to ‘die’.