Plastikos is a mythological art installation, dealing with the issue of plastic pollution in an entertaining and informative way.
The installation will be up from October - January launching in Marine Week with some evening presentations and walkabouts. Open Daily 9am - 6pm - In December the 5 gyres team will be stopping by and connecting with the exhibition, doing presentations of their own. They are doing research on the amount of microplastics in all the major oceanic currents. (5gyres.org)
The artist, Max has collected litter from the beaches, roadsides and landfills of South Africa and turned them into a plethora of creatures. Made entirely from shards and scraps of potentially hazardous waste. These sculptural forms share a story that must be told to young and old.
Most litter created on land ends up in the oceans, and after many years of drifting, they congregate in the major oceanic gyres. It is believed that there are islands of plastic here, and this is where these creatures are mythically formed. Giving plastic its own synthetic life force bound with nature and the human spirit.
The story talks of humanities unwillingness to face the repercussions of its progress... Plastic litter is everywhere - the proverbial monster that is kept out of sight - A symbolic metaphor for mankind's relationship with its darker side. By manifesting these creatures, Max is confronting the shadow cast by our fear, greed and ignorance. By using the medium that is the problem to the environment, Max's message is to bring attention to the dire situation that plastic presents us with.
The individual creatures all "eat" waste, and through their design they prompt the viewer to think about ways that debris can be used, collected or controlled. They also show how micro affects macro, as the large creatures all prey on tiny microplastics, as whales do on plankton. The plankton are the keystone to all life in the oceans, and it is these very tiny creatures that are being outnumbered by the broken photo degraded fragments of plastic packaging drifting in the oceans.
The installation does not aim to demonize plastic and eradicate it, it is too late for that, what it aims to do is give plastic back its value, purpose and integrity. So that people can see it in a new light, treat it with more respect and imagine ways to deal with the issues that previous polluting behavior presents.
Plastic is truly a phenomenal material and resource, but as litter, it is hazardous, ugly and in the wrong place. Plastic is the ultimate replicator material, with uses that penetrate deeply into each of our lives, from frivolous lollipop sticks to life supporting medical pumps, the installation accepts the fact that plastic is very much part of our world now. Where to from here?