Despite the scorching heat, we think our TRASH project went very well. The Lewisham Borough Of Culture producer accommodated us appropriately in one of the tents in the climate change area. Thank you very much, Emma Halstead and team!

In the run-up to the event, we asked the neighbourhood, which supported us fabulously, to collect clean household plastic waste and drop it off at my doorstep.  Then on Saturday in Mountfields Park, we invited passers-by of all ages to help us build a large sculpture made entirely of plastic waste.  It was about being active and not just being numb to what is happening to our environment.

My partner had helped me build a simple triangular base (made of pieces of wood I found on the street) with wheels to pull it around.

Over the course of the day, the sculpture became a ‘social sculpture’ took on an organic form, with the shape and form of each added plastic object determining the final shape. Even children already have a sense of where is a good place to add something without it collapsing in on itself. – Let the object speak to you !

As for the material, we kept it simple in keeping with the provisional nature and mainly used fluorescent coloured gaffa tape in various sizes, wire and string to hold everything together –

Apart from taking a good look at a rubbish item in addition the different types of plastic that people normally pay little attention to, there was a sense of sharing and exchange when participants dealt with the plastic bottles, fruit bonnets, drink cartons, lids just to name a few.

I found it really interesting how much plastic there is in households – the rubbish speaks for itself, certainly plenty of forensic material for a novel.

Towards the end of Peoples Day we moved our Trash sculpture from Mountsfield Park to the small St John’s Park SE8 behind the church where it is now on display.

As sustainability is very close to Claire Hallam’s and my hearts, we decided to do something tangible and to raise awareness with this playful art project, namely building a large TRASH sculpture, to dive deeper into the issue of sustainability and to focus on the pressing issues of general waste ecology and climate change.

Trashy Happy Times in close collaborations of Claire Hallam, Laura X Carle and our fabulous partners.       

Alma TW


Further Reading

Britons dispose of nearly 100bn pieces of plastic packaging a year, survey finds (Guardian)

The Big Plastic Count Results: How citizen science exposed a system incapable of tackling the plastic crisis (Greenpeace)