A child of painting and photography, Raymond Furlotte has been creating baroque compositions that transport the observer into a playful, even surreal universe. Theatrical director of ideas, the artist proposes surprising links between out-of-the-ordinary objects which reflect a unique and original view of reality.
Raymond Furlotte was born in Eel River Crossing, a small Acadian village in the North of New Brunswick. Born into a family of five siblings, Raymond has always felt different from the others from a very young age. Child of a mother who didn’t know she was an artist herself, he is definitely her uncontested heir.
This installation is a denunciation of abuses in the textile industry abroad. I recycled more than four hundred jeans coming from countries that exploit their workers: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Korea, Russia, Turkey, China, India, the Maldives, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Malta and Lesotho. The first stage consists in cutting the denim into strips. The second stage is knitting them using thick needles. The monochrome tapestry is mounted with 30 links across representing the days of the month and 24 inches in width for the hours of the day to form a stream more than 120 feet long representing the years of slavery for those workers who were paid an average of 80¢ per hour. This huge blue wave represents human misery surging on the shores of industry magnates and their obscene profits. This theatrical installation converges into a ball of denim of about two feet in circumference. This ball represents the earth and the control these same predators have over the world.
I am in a snug workshop. Nevertheless I must wear gloves and a mask because this work hurts my fingers and fills my lungs with dust.
What about the working conditions of these men, women and children who are exploited to produce this garment? Is this a never-ending process? Profits justify means, the big one must become bigger, the small one sink further and further. Can we disintangle this ball of viper knots? Tear down to build again? Is it possible or utopian? At what cost? It is up to each one of us to decide on our social action.
The artist thanks numerous donors who have provided him with the jeans and encouraged him in this work of art.