Check out my interview with Aurora Robson, founder of Project Vortex, and multi media environmental artist.
Aurora Robson is a New York artist, predominantly known for her sculptures intercepting the plastic waste stream. Robson creates a range of multimedia art, from standing sculptures made of plastic bottles, to wall installations and collages made of junk mail and other debris. She is the founder of Project Vortex, an organization of artists from around the world, advocating against plastic pollution through art. Project Vortex’s mission is to educate others about single use plastics, especially students in school. I was lucky enough to interview Robson about the impactful change she is making on the way we view art and the waste stream.
Shari Mendelson is a Brooklyn artist who makes sculptures and vases out of single use plastics. Shari crafts the sculptures out of found plastic bottles that people use once and throw away. Her sculptures are inspired by the ancient drinking vessels on display at the MET. The vases people drank from thousands of years ago are on display. Todays plastic will be around in a thousand of years as well. Shari wants to spread the message that plastic doesn't disappear when you throw it away.
In Loving Memory - Ivory Billed Woodpecker, 2021
Gone But Not Forgotten - Bachman’s Warbler, 2021
Forever in Our Hearts - Spix’s Macaw, 2020
But Climate Change won’t affect our generation - Alagoas Foliage-Gleaner, 2019
Etched on disposable single use plastic plates are images of birds recently declared extinct. It is a commentary on how our intense consumption of plastics used and then thrown away are impacting on our entire ecosystem. I have treated plastic plates are treated like collectible expensive commemorative plates. Etched are the words, “In Loving Memory, “Gone Yet Not Forgotten” Forever in Our Hearts, words used on tombstones. I chose a black velvet background to make the plastic plates look precious and valuable even though these plates are normally thrown out without a thought.
What is a party without balloons? Well, what is a beach without gulls? I live in Manhattan which is on the Atlantic Flyway migration route. Twice a year birds fly through NYC, dealing with life threatening obstacles. Using Procreate, I created a cartoon about a gull. It starts out light and fun but turns deadly. Shot on an iPhone, a pink ball of trash moves through the city, not noticed. Goodbye Party showcases the trash we use while not thinking about the impact on our planet.
Only 6% of plastic is actually recycled. For a month, every piece of disposable plastic my family used was not put recycling bin or thrown out but collected for this sculpture. The base is made up of cut up plastic berry clamshells, take out containers and hard frozen dinner containers. Glued on top are soft plastics from plastic food packaging. I placed the face sculpture on a beach to get peoples reaction. Most plastic ends up in our oceans and on our beaches. We are the face of plastic consumption.
"A MONTH’S WORTH OF MY FAMILY’S TRASH"
Artist Thomas Dieninger is a Rhode Island artist who makes illusionistic sculptures out of plastic waste. He is part of Project Vortex, a group of artists who educate others about the environment through art and curriculum. Deininger Creates installations that show a 3D image at a certain angle, depending on where you are standing. He stacks all sorts of waste and trash in front and on top of each other to create an illusion. Dieninger travels the world collecting discarded junk like old toys, broken CDs, plastic containers, ect. He sorts his trash into colors and pieces them into his sculpture. In an interview with insider.com, Dienger says collecting the trash is “part scavenger hunt, part compliance with whatever material you have to make it work. It's this kind of dance between taking what you have around you, and then keeping an eye peeled for the perfect thing.” His work is inspired by mass the huge amount of consumption in the world, and how we are always throwing things out within the same month that we buy them. “It's a love-hate relationship with the materials themselves. I'm inspired by them, and I'm kind of repulsed by them in a certain capacity.” (Insider)
Dieninger also creates wave collages out of plastic waste based on his love for the ocean and surfing. In 2012, he made “Yellow Sun” (6' x 8' x 3') inspired by photographer Clark Little who takes photos of Hawaii's North Shore waves. He used plastic in his collage to portray the great pacific garbage patch, and the major problem of plastics in the ocean.