Success in art can mean 100 different things to 100 different people. But for me, a large part of what makes me feel success in art lies in turning environmental blight into a colourful message of future beauty and sustainability.

[private free|gold|free special]

With my initial success in art with environmental messages coming through in my work, I was asked what inspired me to make art out of plastic bags?
Two things came to mind there really, the first was the strong environmental messages I could convey and the second was the great colours and forms I could create out of the material. I developed works using recycled plastic bags as the primary medium a few years ago, “Blue River” was one of these works using this medium. This work was a finalist in the
2003 Wynne prize at the Art Gallery of NSW and signalled a slight departure from my more recognizable assemblage works, in which I used plastics and other detritus collected from the Eastern seaboard, “Thong Totems” which won the Wynne Prize in 2000 is a good example.
I am with this work, apart from wishing to express obvious environmental messages, particularly interested in the brilliance of the colours and textures available to me in working with this medium. I am constantly surprised to see the variations in these plastics, very much like how I am also intrigued by the beach found objects I have collected over the years.
I imagine these plastic bags, which mostly have a lifespan of many years, are in fact on the verge of extinction, as it is only a matter of time before governments impose such strict deterrents to people using them that they become a thing of the past. A fitting end to what has become such a scourge to our environment on a worldwide scale.
The Irish Government imposed a 10 cent levy on the use of these bags some years ago and saw the consumption of this product decrease by approximately 90% within a year, a reduction of many billions of plastic bags per year!
Once again, I am able as a contemporary visual artist, to use these recycled materials, to create artworks, which I hope express a certain beauty as well as containing their own unique environmental messages.
This is my way of making a difference, and at the same time I’m sharing a positive message about beauty that can be gained from the aesthetic experience of appreciating art, as well as giving examples of how we can recycle and reuse in creative ways. These artworks exemplify my commitment as an artist to express contemporary social and environmental concerns.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This