I’ve long been a fan of Clare Misselbrook’s work – she uses found materials to create stunning sculptures, and is a wonderfully talented painter. I’m also lucky enough to count her as one of my best friends, and I was thrilled when she let me know about her latest project — and even more thrilled when she let me come along one day to help out!
Plastic Lunch is a project currently based at the brilliant 4749 Tanner Street – which, as an entity, probably is entitled to its own blog post. For the project, Eco-Artist Clare Misselbrook created a stunning sculpture made out of rubbish – recyclable and non-recyclable – which was placed on the roof of the building in clear view of passing trains. The sculpture’s aim is to draw attention to the volumes of plastic being needlessly being used and discarded by society as a whole, but also to get commuters thinking about their own personal contributions to the plastic waste problem.
Here’s some key points of the issue from 4749’s website:
Over the last few decades, humans have consumed and thrown “away” hundreds of tonnes of plastics.
Unfortunately “away” doesn’t exist in nature. It means polluting our lands and often more problematically our oceans. In the most polluted parts of the ocean, the mass of plastic exceeds the amount of plankton six times over.
Some of these plastics break down into small particles relatively quickly but plastics don’t biodegrade, so those tiny pieces are consumed by fish and sea mammals, and in turn by humans.
Plastic Lunch aims to draw attention to this freakosystem by harnessing the power of arts and social media.
In conjunction with the sculpture’s placement on the roof, Misselbrook also ran a series of workshops for children and teens called the “Plastic Lunchbox Sessions.” For these workshops, the kids were encouraged to bring along the plastic rubbish from their own homes to contribute to the wonderful array of resources provided by Misselbrook, and then to work to use these materials to create their own sea creatures out of the “rubbish.” It appealed greatly to my OCD.
It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn about the importance of not just recycling, but not taking in so much plastic in the first place. At the end, the children were able to write their own pledge for the future. Here’s some photos from the workshops.
I was most excited about Molly the Lobster, who I built with a wonderful team of 9 year olds.
Some eco-pledges from the kids:
And some shots of the finished sea creatures from the Opening Night:
You can find out more about the project here.
You can see more of Clare’s stunning work here.