Contaminated is an exploration of the tens of thousands affected by illnesses, and the secrets that were kept by the United States Government at the Hanford Nuclear site.
Contaminated is what has happened to the people and the land in southeastern Washington State. This is where I was born. This is where my family lives. In 1942 my Grandfather arrived on the land and started working for the U.S. Government, codenamed “The Manhattan Project”. The Hanford Nuclear site, produced plutonium for the first nuclear bombs used during WWII.
The U.S. Government had such poor records of what was done or not done to protect employees that the U.S. Department of Labor now has the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. This Act now pays out employees who have specific types of illnesses related to working at Hanford. If you lived in the area during WWII or the Cold War when radioactive iodine was released into the air and became sick then you would be involved in the Downwinder vs U.S. Government, which settled after 24 years in 2015.
My family along with thousands of other employees and innocent people have all been affected.
Each piece is an original handmade sculpture built from family and friends personal photographs. The one of kind work is mixed with the documentation of my experience growing up in this highly charged environment.