The all-attractive prospects of comfort, money and convenience filled Eloa Jane’s little grey mailbox as she transitioned into a new life in America. Such pursuits, she began to realize, are at odds with the pursuit of happiness when they come at the expense of meaningfulness, resourcefulness and fulfillment. These were values Eloa Jane could not do without. In her search for a lifestyle where she can find fulfillment in creating meanings rather than owning disposables, she had only to look at her most immediate resource, namely, the overwhelming amount of paper that travels this country on a daily basis. “Be the change you want to see in the world,” as Gandhi famously said. And so she did – rather than preaching sustainability, she set out to be sustainable, and this quest began to shine through to her art. She began to incorporate unwanted paper from junk mail into her compositions, making the useless useful, the worthless desirable, transforming trash into beauty in a way that resonated with her personal journey. By reusing office paper, magazines, newspapers, phone books, and even coffee filters she has learned to take advantage of the inherent properties of junk paper – with its varied textures, patterns, text, and colors – as a means of self-expression. Some of her most meaningful work consists of paper mosaics and sculptures themed after personal events such as dreams, impressions, emotions, times of light and times of darkness. Up-cycling is now not just her art but also her way of life.
I transform recycled paper waste into art. In this process I maintain the integrity of paper’s textures and printings. I roll pages of recycled paper individually into small tubes and assemble them to create decorative vases, sculptures and wall art. I see my own journey in the disconnected words, fading colors and rough textures of the pieces I make . They reflect my life’s transformation after I have seen it torn apart like a piece of paper and yet I hold to my values and redefine myself.