Cotton. Project “NOT white gold”
Cotton. Project “NOT white gold.” White Carrara marble, 150x70x50 cm
Cotton is known as “white gold,” first in ancient Babylon, and later in other countries. But there are “two sides” to this precious material. On the one hand, cotton is a beautiful plant, and from this plant, textiles can be produced that have long been widely used for diverse applications. On the other hand, the cultivation of cotton requires intensive manual labor and extensive natural resources. Many countries still rely on child and forced labor. And because of the production and processing of cotton, environmental impacts such as soil erosion and degradation, pollution, and water contamination.
This sculpture represents these complex relations of the cotton flower: the extraordinary beauty of white, cotton fabric when caught by the wind and soaring up to the sky, but also the child slavery on the cotton plantations in Central Asia and the environmental disaster from water diversion at the Aral Sea. The sculpture Cotton reflects this “dual” nature – beauty and suffering, softness and cruelty – to raise awareness of the true cost of cotton, which includes the ecological crisis that has been caused by the cotton industry as well as the damage and loss caused to the children of Kazakhstan.