False Food | 2010
In his series False Food, Jerry Takigawa has arranged small objects—bright and colorful plastic pieces—in evocative patterns. His photographs draw attention to the plight of the albatross, which mistakes plastic for food. Jerry's work encourages us to explore our close connection to the ocean food web. "In this work, I am exploring the illusion of separateness—we do not live in isolation from other beings," he says. "We're all connected through the environment."
Laysan Albatross, Gyre, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Humpback Whale | 2011
Sayaka Ganz creates sculptures from discarded plastic—the cast-off remnants of our use—and-dispose society. "The human history behind these objects gives them life in my eyes," she says. Sayaka spent her early years in Japan, where Shinto beliefs teach that every object has a spirit, and an object discarded before its time weeps at night inside the trash bin. "My goal is for each object to transcend its origins as it is integrated into an animal form that seems alive."
Jelly PET Bowls | 2011
Turkish artist Gülnur Özdağlar believes the solution to our accumulation of plastic is "upcycling," not recycling. Gülnur's background in architecture combined with her artistic vision enable her to transform ordinary materials into works of art. Her aim is to instill in discarded plastic materials a higher aesthetic value by designing and creating objects of beauty. Look closely—these delicate bowls resemble ocean jellies.
New Deal | 2010
Marti Cormand's New Deal at first appears to be a simple landscape. A closer look reveals tiny, bright bits of color woven into the scene—hard pieces that hint at technology and synthetic quality, contaminating Marti's landscape. Rooted in traditional landscape painting, works by the Spanish-born artist can be seen as a commentary on technology infiltrating the most idyllic spaces.
Gyre | 2009
If you look closely at this photo collage, measuring nine by 12 feet, you'll find toothbrushes, buttons, combs and other plastic items. Inspired by Hokusai's woodcut The Great Wave off Kanagawa, Chris Jordan's awe-inspiring image uses 2.4 million pieces of plastic—the number of pounds of plastic estimated to enter the world's oceans every hour. All of the plastic in this image was collected from the North Pacific Gyre, home of the litter-strewn waters known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Milkhandle Ball | 2010
South African designer Heath Nash fashions lampshades, floor surfaces and other home décor from materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. His design line—Other People's Rubbish—creates useful objects, provides jobs for local craftspeople and raises awareness of the environment.
To the Depths | 2011
Katharine Harvey uses waste materials on a monumental scale. She creates massive sculptures from items gathered from neighborhood garbage bins, such as water bottles, packing material and egg cartons. "The use of surplus garbage on a grand scale highlights the glut of plastic waste in our society, and its serious long-term impact on our global community," Katharine says. This installation seeks to emphasize the importance of recycling programs, which help to keep our oceans plastic-free.