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Plastic Fantastic

June 11, 2016 - September 24, 2016

In 2016, the Ellandi / Project Dirt grant scheme gave us the opportunity to produce a public work which aimed to stimulate the artistic senses visually, to educate about environmental crises, and to facilitate the general public in an artistic collaboration with local artists.

Our core concept centred around the idea of waste and recycling, and a specific look at 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 25 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 produced two sculptures made from recycled materials, constructed at interactive workshops in the Priory Centre.

The first was 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. Our artists created the map utilising corrugated cardboard to create a 3D display, using a technique from model-making to build the layers of the map up. We used the map base to graphically convey 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 was 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.

Our goal was to combine both fun and education – to work directly with the public in creating a beautiful artwork which will benefit the area in which it is exhibited – but also, in collecting the materials and re-appropriating them to produce an artwork, participants and observers were part of a dialogue about waste and the environment, both locally, nationally and internationally.


June 11, 2016
September 24, 2016
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