Sometimes art says it better
Watching eye-opening documentaries like “A Plastic Ocean” or reading disturbing reports such as “We are all plastic people now” (The Globe and Mail) leave us with an incredibly heavy load of information about the plastic crisis we are in. Their research, data and science tell us in a clear, straightforward manner: we are producing too much plastic. It’s not sustainable.
And it’s daunting. That’s why we need many different voices talking about the problem. And art is one of them. This is what this small section stands for: when art can say it better.
Single Use Topography
by Jessica Hiemstra
For the Albatross is an homage to the albatross; by collecting stray plastic to make this work it’s no longer destructive to the animals who share the shoreline with me. I, too, am attracted by strange and beautiful debris. In this way, the albatross and I are alike.
The Plastic Bag Store
The Plastic Bag Store is a public art installation and immersive film by artist and director Robin Frohardt employing humor, craft, and a critical lens to our culture of consumption and convenience — specifically, the enduring effects of our single-use plastics. The shelves are stocked with thousands of original, hand-sculpted items all made from discarded, single-use plastics in an endless flux of packaging. The store transforms into an immersive, dynamic stage for a film in which inventive puppetry, shadow play, and intricate handmade sets tell the darkly comedic, sometimes tender story of how the overabundance of plastic waste we leave behind might be misinterpreted by future generations.
Explorations into Reuse
Can common plastic waste items be made into functional, creative and interesting objects?
In summer 2020 we asked Sienna Csunyoscka, a textile artist, maker and 2021 graduate of Sheridan College's Bachelor of Craft and Design this question.
“I was asked to come up with some tangible ideas around repurposing two different plastic waste materials that the City of Toronto asks us to put in the garbage bin, yet materials we come into contact with almost daily: plastic produce netting/mesh bags and dryer lint. We don't often re-use these things although they are in abundance in our grocery stores and laundry rooms respectively. This was a challenge I dove head first into and it definitely made me push myself in terms of specific sample making and expanding an idea further within restrictions of the given materials. The material informed the object(s) for the most part. I really enjoyed seeing the range of possibility unfurl as I worked gradually. Here are some bags, a wee tapestry, pillows, and quilt-inspired pieces that came out of it."
In 2019 Roncy Reduces organized a contest by asking elementary and middle school students in Roncesvalles to create posters and short films about plastic waste. We received over 150 entries and you can visit the winning posters in this little gallery and watch the winning short film below.
Is it a good deal for nature?
By Samantha and May, Fern Avenue Public School, Toronto, 2019.
When we are about to buy something, we automatically and subconsciously ask ourselves: ‘Is it a good deal?’ But there is another question that should always cross our mind when we shop: Is it a good deal for nature? In this 2-minute film a little kid teaches grandma one of the most important new lessons of our time.