Don’t go recycling your plastic waste, give it to Eve Armstrong instead. The artist is on a mission to build a massive public sculpture comprised of the plastic wrapping that surrounds our daily lives. Aptly titled Taking Stock, the sculpture will be a retail display landscape made up of what is usually thrown away and will turn the mirror back on the shopper, asking them to rethink the natural and manmade world around them, and be both dazzled and disturbed by its beauty and emptiness.
The project is part of the Letting Space public art series, which runs in vacant commercial sites in Wellington and seeks to transform the relationship between artists, property developers and their city.
Armstrong is asking the public to help with the building of the sculpture by contributing their clear plastic packaging to collection points now running in art galleries operating around the Wellington region.
“Any clean, clear plastic packaging is good,” says Armstrong. “Clear plastic could include packaging from electronic gadgets, tools and toys – that rigid stuff that’s really difficult to open! - containers, bottles, lids, packets, punnets, trays or boxes. You might also have milky-white or clear objects lying around home – old Tupperware, fridge drawers, vases, shelving, display stands, and brochure holders. We’re also very happy to get off-cuts of Perspex, and seconds or excess plastic from factories.”
Joining Armstrong in the current round of projects will be The Beneficiary's Office by Tao Wells.
"The projects all revalue things which have been regarded as worthless," say curators Mark Amery and Sophie Jerram. "The usefulness of unemployment, the beauty of throwaway packaging, the past history of commercial real estate and the potential for occupation of Mars, all these projects cunningly analyse what is typically considered unuseful and is lying fallow.”
Collection points are up and running until November 5 at the following galleries: New Dowse in Lower Hutt, Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture in Porirua, and Enjoy Gallery and Toi Pōneke Arts Centre in the central city. They will be joined by City Gallery Wellington on September 25.
Image: Flickr - woodleywonderworks