The decorations made out of plastic milk bottles and are beautiful but Paula’s prompt Recycled could not have come at a more topical time for Australia. Our waste collection is under threat of stopping altogether as it has become unprofitable for the waste companies to collect the refuse. After thirty years of separating our waste into recycle, green and general a decision by China to stop buying our recycling waste has thrown the industry into a sudden downward spiral.
Australia produces around 2.7 tonnes of waste per person per year and 60% of that is recyclable. Waste companies have been stockpiling this waste hoping for a solution that will see them paid prices that will make it profitable to collect from the kerbside. Heavens forbid that we lose our garbage collection. I can see the piles mounting in my mind. Perhaps we have to be pleased that artists sometimes use recycled material.
Such as this door to a wood workers facility.
and dresses made from plastic bags (soon to be banned altogether in Queensland).
This sculpture was made from bike frames, fans, exhaust pipes, fire braziers and push bike – a friendly critter formed.
My favourite used only newspaper. Each day for a year after reading the newspaper, the artist reflected on the stories and chose problems. He would then do a sculpture with the remainder of the newspaper then glue the story on the outside of this. After one year he looked at these problems and spent a year coming up with a solution to each of them which he sculpted out of paper and inscribed a phrase on each one. I wonder how he would have solved our problem of waste.
An aboriginal artist Gunybi Gananbarr used an old conveyor belt to affix sand and natural pigments from his land to emphasise clan designs which are full of metaphors and layers of meaning.
Sometimes recycling is not art but the only way you can get a pair of sturdy shoes, using old tyres.