Musings on art and life.
Plastic is one one of the most wonderfully versatile inventions of the 20th century. Not only is it mould-able and durable, it’s lightweight, recyclable and… re-usable. Without getting into they whys of the huge amounts of plastic sent to landfill each year, and the environmental impact it has, I’m going to skip directly to three artists who are using it in their work. Each of these practitioners has a very processed based way of working, immersing themselves in the making of their “recycled art”, to great effect. Both David Edgar and Miwa Koizumi have used their materials to create quirky and intricate sea creatures, while Caroline Saul moulds her plastics into entirely new “bulbous forms”.
David Edgar has a 25 year history as a steel artist, and describes his new found fascination with using detergent bottles to create decorative items as a “mid-life catharsis”. Indeed the Plastiquarium itself, is made from a lighter, more fun and colourful material then steel. One can image that using scissors to create these quirky creatures would be much less of a physical endeavour then that required for his previous work. On his website David outlines the origins of the Plastiquarium as a modern myth where the phosphate levels in the earth result in the emergence of new, synthetic life forms… Fun, and eco-friendly!
You can buy David’s work from his Etsy site.
Caroline Saul is a Brighton based artist using objects that might have been thrown away, predominantly milk bottles, to create new materials. Her Bulbous Bulbs, Lamps and Forms are an exploration of “colour, texture, material, patterning, shape and form”. She manages to capture a subtle layering of colour and light in her objects, which is enhanced by the patterns of positive and negative space she creates with her cut-work and re-moulding.
Miwa Koizumi‘s delicate sea creatures are so delightful to look at, that you might forget that they are made from a form of plastic. She has entitled the work PET Project (polyethylene terephthalate) In her statement, she writes “I have started to see garbage as small creatures. Everywhere I go they are waiting for me. I pass by and they want to talk with me.” With this in mind, you might think that, like a wood whittler, Miwa works to release these creatures from the confines of their un-recycled plastic containers. She also links this idea of seeing spirits in every day objects back to her Japanese background, and in doing so is able to relate to her materials and “creatures” as she makes them.
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Laura Quick's book The Quick Guide To Parenting is available to order on Amazon. A perfect gift for parents.