REDUCE – RE-USE – RECYCLE
In celebration of Australia’s Plastic Free July we are kicking things off this month with an exploration of environmental art with the help of our dear friend, Virginia (view her incredible environmental artwork and nature photography on her Instagram profile: Perth Beach Eco Artist).
Virginia creates the most spectacular and colourful works of art, completely out of discarded plastic and rope she finds washed up on her local beach; it truly is quite confronting to see these masterpieces, so full of life and colour only to realise that this was ALL found on a beach – definitely food for thought!
The idea of being able to create something so beautiful and thought provoking out of something as horrid as waste that’s destructive to our environment and marine life is truly an amazing thing. Van Gogh for example, suffered through depression and hardships and yet, his work is full of beauty, love, hope and life. Swirling bursts of colour are used to represent his world: A world full of wonder and imagination. I see similar themes in Virgina’s work – creating beauty out of something that is not in itself very beautiful at all, encouraging thought and representing hope for a better, cleaner future.
We spoke with Virginia about her work, her motivations and passions to learn more about this exciting art movement as well as what simple changes we can all make for a more sustainable lifestyle.
Finding inspiration from artists around the world, Virginia uses her art as a way of sending a message across to our younger generation, showcasing her work at local schools as well as online through social media to draw attention to the cause. Every single piece of plastic that has ever been made is still around, still intact – It has not disintegrated and only a portion of it has been incinerated. Quite a sobering thought isn’t it?!
I saw another UK artist’s work and it blew me away; The colours and the whole idea. I have lived very close to the beach since I was 12 but I never really thought of Perth’s beaches as having plastic on them. Like a lot of people though, I wasn’t really visiting the beach in the winter months. I didn’t even think I would find any plastic when I first started looking last year!
Now when people see my work they can’t believe that all of these pieces of plastic were found on the beach. Since doing this I’ve become more involved in realising what the plastic and rope do to the marine life. Every time I pick up a piece I think “That’s one life saved!”. – Virginia
Virginia’s art form has no rules – She uses discarded plastic, tin cans and sea rope all found on her local beaches to create intricate collages, putting each piece together as if constructing a free-flowing jigsaw puzzle (which she is also known for referring to as “Pizza Layering!”) Not a single piece is ever cut to shape or coloured, further minimising waste – It is very clear that she is one very creative individual! Personally collecting each and every piece each day in Winter, Virginia also encourages others to collect any bits and pieces they find on the beach which she can then use to create her art, thus spreading her message to us all to take a minute and tidy up!
I look forward to the surprises that the ocean has “thrown out” and I enjoy the mystery of what might appear! – Virginia.
Virginia’s colour combinations are especially striking! She loves featuring bright, bold colours reminiscent of the 80’s, creating a celebration of colour every time a life is saved by removing that one piece of plastic or rope from our oceans!
Virginia discussed a few pieces that she’s been working on with us: “I’ve made 3 plastics collages and I’m working on another large one at the moment . I’ve made one rope piece and I’m working on another one now using a large piece of drift wood for something totally different!
I have an idea for a tin can piece as well. I’m using cans that have been caroded by the ocean. It’s a bit out there but if I can make it work it’s a game changer!!!” – Virginia
Virginia has expressed her gratitude at finding a huge amount of support in the Environmental Community. Her work has been promoted across social media, encourgaing others to pay more attention to the amount of waste produced in the average home and the fact that a concerning amount of the products we use on a daily bases have a much wider impact than we would have once thought.
Sharing her ideas and constantly learning from others in online communities, Virginia says “If people could pick up what they consider to be “other people’s” rubbish, the world would be so much better!” – Virginia
Making simple substitutes for everyday items can have a massive impact on our environment. If we ever catch ourselves thinking “I’m just one person, what difference can I possibly make?” we should take a moment to rephrase that question and instead consider “If just one person makes some changes each day, we wouldn’t have these sorts of issues!” We can all most definitely make an immense difference in the products we use everyday by reducing the amount of single use plastics we use. by being more considerate of what we throw into the trash, of finding ways to re-use everything and thus reduce the overall amount of waste we produce.
“Once you start looking at all the plastic in the supermarkets you can’t un-see that again!” – Virginia
Virginia has shared with use a few of the ways she has made changes around her home to help reduce the amount of waste produced: Swapping out our plastic toothbrushes for example, with eco-friendly Bamboo toothbrushes. Shopping for environmental friendly options in fashion is another great idea as well as keeping an eye out around the home for anything that can be up-cycled into something new rather than sending it to landfill. There are heaps of Facebook groups out there for example, with a focus on DIY projects to inspire our creative side!
The message presented in Virgina’s incredible work is a powerful one: The beauty of her artwork is a stark contrast to the horrible effects discarded plastics, rope and tin have on our environment, especially with regards to our marine life. By finding ways to re-use and recycle our waste, we can all look forward to a much better, brighter and of course, much CLEANER Earth!
Virginia is an Australian Artist based in Perth. Her mission is to increase awareness of environmental issues through her art and encourages us all to do the same! We look forward to seeing Environmental Art becoming a more prominent feature in the Interior Design Industry as we all work together to create a much cleaner future.
As we’ve explored in this post, all her work is completely made of waste such as plastic, tin and rope found across her local beaches – An incredible way of cleaning up Australia’s beaches while creating something beautiful along the way! Virginia recently received an Environmental Award from her local Council and will also be featured in an upcoming Perth Art Exhibition in July 2018 – Stay tuned on our social media accounts for announcements!
FURTHER READING & RESOURCES:
- Click here to follow Virginia on Instagram at Perth Beach Eco Artist. She shares wonderfully colorful images of sea creatures spotted on the beach while she forages for new “materials” as well as her wonderful artwork of course!
- Waste Not by Erin Rhoads: Checkout our book review of this incredible guide to a zero waste home.
- Zero Waste Home: Having a zero waste home need not be a time consuming and cumbersome task! Find creative ways of making a more eco-friendly and healthy home.
- Don’t Waste the Crumbs! This is a fantastic site I find myself referring back to constantly! Find incredible recipes that allow you to use up every single part of your produce, saving you money and helping the environment in the process.