Arcadia Lost (or Turning Up The Heat) - CODAworx

Arcadia Lost (or Turning Up The Heat)

Client: ArtsWestchester Gallery

Location: White Plains, NY, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team


Amy Kurlander


Kathleen Reckling



Arcadia Lost (or Turning Up The Heat) an installation sewn and assembled from single-use plastic with the help of the local community. Single-use plastic is one of the most serious polluters of our environment and one of the biggest contributors to climate change.
An artful installation made from such a material is an invitation for the viewing public to see the message writ large.
At first glance the installation looks like a fun, brightly colored explosion of exotic flowers, draping vines and a flowing brook. As the viewer walks in for a closer look, they realize the material which the art is created from is the exact material contributing to the pollution of our planet. The whimsical appearance of the installation belies the importance of the message, echoing the contradictions people encounter when weighing convenience with recycling and proper waste disposal.
The installation fills the second floor outdoor atrium and measures 28 feet long by 10 feet wide.


This artwork was commissioned as a part of The Social Fabric: Common Threads and Uncommon Vision exhibit in the Arts Westchester Gallery in Autumn 2022.


The community was asked to look around their home for single-use plastic that is so ubiquitous that it inadvertently enters everyone's homes, and to create a bit of beauty from trash. Several workshops were scheduled where participants brought the plastic with them, or used plastic provided by the artist, and were instructed on the various techniques of constructing the flowers. The flowers then became a part of the installation.