Plastic Fantastic

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The Ellandi / Project Dirt grant scheme has given us the opportunity to do a public work which we anticipate will not only stimulate the artistic senses visually, but educate, as well as inviting the general public to collaborate with local artists.

Our core concept centres around the idea of waste and recycling. We intend to produce two sculptures made from recycled materials, partially constructed at interactive workshops in the town. These will consist of a fair amount of ‘making’ as well as some talks and group work exploring the key issues about waste.

We are interested in the journey our plastics embark on when we discard them without recycling them. As it stands, in certain areas our oceans have more plastic in than zooplankton and it is predicted that if waste continues at the current rate, in 30 years there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. That is a terrifying prospect and one we are eager to highlight to the residents of our town.

We are proposing a large-scale map of a section of the world displayed on a plinth made from reused pallets and decorated with filled recycled vases made from unwanted CD-cases. The map will use corrugated cardboard to create a 3D display, using a technique from model-making which would build the layers of the map up. On this, we will convey graphically the journey of a plastic bottle; how it travels from our shores, swept by ocean gyres to the shores of the Caribbean; how bottles discarded in the USA and Africa are brought together in a ‘garbage patch’ the size of Texas, and how we can reduce the effect of this by recycling our plastics locally.

The second sculpture will be a ‘Wishing Tree’ built from reclaimed polypipe and used as a base to attach smaller recycled art objects made both by visitors to the workshops and by members of the group. The sculpture will be situated locally outdoors near water, to tie in with the concept of plastics encroaching on our natural world. We have explored various concept ideas and are in the final stages of researching material and structural design for this. You can see some of our initial designs in the images attached.

Our goal is to not only fun – to work directly with the public in creating a beautiful artwork which will benefit the area in which it is exhibited – but also educational; in collecting the materials and re-appropriating them to produce an artwork, participants and observers will be part of a dialogue about waste and the environment, both locally, nationally and internationally.

To sign up for the workshops in September please email us at hello@dartfordartsnetwork.com or contact us on twitter @dartfordarts

See how we’re getting on after our first workshop by checking out our Blog page 

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Arts and Culture in Dartford