Sunday, February 24, 2013

Midway Island - Plastic Disaster

I came across a video on Facebook today and 
had to post it on my blog immediately. 
This video is about an island in the ocean called 
Midway Atoll or Midway Island.

This island is 2.4 square miles and is roughly 
equidistant between North America and Asia.

Nobody lives on this island, only birds.
The photographs taken show how the
 plastic debris in our oceans create a devastating 
effect on the birds who live on this island.  

It brought tears to my eyes and gave me 
greater conviction to continue creating art
that communicates the severity of the
environmental crisis that plagues our world.

Please watch.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Artist Re-using Plastic

Oh! It has been too long since I last posted on my blog!
Alas, it is time to start posting again.

I am happy to say that my interest in Eco-art is still alive and well!

I recently came across an article in the magazine, "Art in America" that featured the artist, Aurora Robson. She is an artist that re-uses plastic bottles and transforms them into colorful sculptures. When asked if there are other artists who work with recycled materials that inspire her, she said the following:

"What I'm doing is interrupting the waste stream - so the bottles I use don't really get recycled. What I'm doing is transforming them so they don't even have to go through the environmentally costly recycling process."

I love this! This is how I see my work when I re-use plastic bottle caps.

I also like what Robson says about her role as an artist. She says,
"Part of why I have such a hard time with the role of the artist and with dedicating myself to making art is that I really don't think the planet needs more stuff - even if it's art. I feel more comfortable transforming as opposed to producing. If transformation is part of producing a new piece of artwork, I'm cool with that, but if it's just about mining more materials from our planet to make stuff, I have a really hard time with that."

I couldn't agree more. This just makes so much sense to me. 

It is in this article that I learned more about the natural disaster that Greenpeace calls, 
the "Trash Vortex" or the "Eastern Garbage Patch." 
This is referring to the vast, 100-million ton accumulation of garbage in the
Pacific Ocean - the one that spreads out over a territory the size of Texas. 
This natural disaster has a lot to do with plastic bottles.

This article made me think, "W
hat about the plastic caps that went with those bottles?!"

Discovering this article really gave me extra motivation to get moving
on creating another bottle cap mural. Most likely, this is going to happen
in the context of teaching. My students at school have been collecting
plastic caps since the beginning of the school year. It is time to get started!

Photos taken from various angles, of the mixed-media sculpture
What Goes Around, Comes Around (2008) by Aurora Robson.
The large-scale work was made from approximately 9000 plastic
bottles that were, as Robson says, "saved from the waste stream."