A major presence among plastic pollution amassing on Great Lakes shores, balloons are up to 30 percent more lethal than hard plastics for marine life that become immobilized in their ribbons or choke while eating their torn bodies. A source of microplastics when they break down in water, as many as 960,000 balloons may end up in Lake Erie annually. Many Ontario municipalities have recently banned intentional balloon releases.

Utilizing the tactile intimacy of Polaroids to communicate our personal, often familial responsibility for environmental degradation, my series All of Yesterday's Parties explores how balloon pollution exists in Ontario today and how it underscores the casual toxicity of the consumer economy that provisions our domestic lives. I have conceptualized this project while documenting dead balloons on Great Lakes beaches where my children play and photographing the role of balloons in social settings throughout my life. I will be expanding my work to the regional manufacturing facilities where balloons are created and to other Ontario cities that have banned intentional balloon releases or restricted them. I will also be meeting and photograph researchers and activists bringing public awareness to the complexities of balloon pollution.

Generously supported by the Canada Council of the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. 

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