Combating Plastic Pollution Through Art

Iridescent scales gleam among a multitude of fish. You look closer to see them layered in plastic - floating lifelessly on the ocean’s surface. This is the constant struggle marine life faces due to the usage of single-use plastic products.

Integration of plastic items - straws, water bottles, food packaging, etc. - have become necessities; therefore, it is difficult to completely eliminate them from our lives. However, recent awareness of the issue has allowed for substantial growth within the artistic sector where many artists have approached the issue of plastic pollution in unique ways.

Many have been able to contribute to this cause through a creative lens. For instance, Jane Perkins re-works recycling into art called “Plastic Classics” where she recreates some of the old classics like the Mona Lisa, Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Starry Night, etc. In addition to these pieces, she also creates portraits of animals, people, other miscellaneous art. Perkin’s projects are a clear example of how a collection of beauty can be captured in the most unconventional ways.

To depict nature's balance, Preetha Kanan illustrates the “impact of technological debris” through her artwork composed of carefully selected colors as the appeal. Kanan’s Gaia series is a representation of all the key elements of the Earth that keep it sustainable. This project is meant to call attention to climate change caused by human industrial activity.

As presented in the Economic Times, Sunil Sree, an artist from India collaborating with other sustainability artists, has utilized charcoal sticks and wood to showcase the depletion of natural resources caused by sand mining and rock-blasting. The resources the Earth provides is exploited in a way to profit humans regardless of the consequences. Sree instead uses nature’s gifts as his tools to express his concerns for the environment. He calls attention to the endangered environment through the materials he uses to create artistic pieces hoping to convey concepts of the essence of human life, death and rebirth, structure and disarray.

Sustainable art considers manufacturing, consumption, and overall design of art products (ex: painting supplies). These artists and products have contributed to making a significant change in the long-lasting impacts of plastic waste through a creative lens which can be done by anyone willing to express their passion, no matter how big or small the cause.

Published on 2021-03-25

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