VDOT TV Deer Compost Artist

My name is Madison Creech I’m a Fountainhead Fellow in the Craft and Materials Studies Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. My art practice is rooted in textile design. So screen printing, anything you can do to surface of a fiber is really where my work sits. When I read the articles about the composting system that the Virginia Department of Transportation uses I got really excited and I thought it could be this great inspiration for an image and [I was] kind of trying to figure out how to create that image. How screen printing works is that you have emulsion that you put onto a screen, it’s sort of this thick liquid substance that is reactive to light, and when light hits it, it turns hard. The imagery that I’ve used is all from this California roadkill site… And I did illustrations and drawings from that and then those illustrations became screens… It’s printed with very identifiable shapes but once it all comes together, it takes on the look of compost. I was trying to really articulate that breakdown
where you’re not quite sure what’s compost and what’s deer
and sort of not being able to identify full animals in this piece Interfacing with VDOT has been a really wonderful experience. I contacted so many different people and ended up with the wonderful Jim White, and he met with me and we drove together to a compost site. It just smelled like dirt which I thought was really not what I was expecting and I even felt very comfortable climbing up there and resting on some of that compost, taking my own pictures, and looking really closely. One of the things when I’m thinking about roadkill… It’s this immediate connection with animals and humans and it’s a real abrasive connection, it’s a real negative connection. and I feel like it’s sort of a metaphor of being human where we’re always expanding into different lands and sort of trying to see what’s new, seek out what’s new, conquer new areas… What the Virginia Department of Transportation is doing is sort of taking those bodies and creating new landscapes for humans, but also for animals to partake in so we can live a little more peacefully between animal and human. This piece is going to the ARC Gallery in Chicago. It’s part of this exhibition called Frayed and there’s a bunch of other fiber artists that will be in that and I’m really excited about that, so thank you, VDOT, for giving me really great inspiration to make a good piece.

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