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Art & Culture

Using art to contextualise the global impact of plastic

By May 20, 2020August 27th, 2020No Comments
Gyrecraft © Studio Swine

Almost ten years ago London-based Studio Swine created two memorable projects using ocean plastic, highlighting the global and local impact of plastic pollution.

Back in 2012 and 2015, London based designers Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves of Studio Swine created two memorable projects using ocean plastic.

The project Gyrecraft follows a 1000 nautical-mile journey across the ocean from the Azores to the Canaries through the North Atlantic Gyre, a circular system of ocean currents. On board the artists collect and melt sea plastic using a self-made machine, named the Solar Extruder.

’Sea plastic is a totally global problem and it’s a totally global material,’ says Murakami. The five works created in ‘Gyrecraft’ represent the worlds five ocean gyres and reflect regional identities. For example, the historic Azorean island tradition of etching intricate drawings on sperm whale teeth are recreated by melting and moulding plastic particles collected at sea into tooth shaped artwork.

Three years previously in 2012 the artists created Sea Chair with the help of local fisherman. Instead of fish, local fisherman caught and collected plastic from the ocean. The plastic was melted and moulded out on the docks and at sea, creating a functional piece of artwork.

Sea Chair © Studio Swine