20 September 2010

New exhibit! Behold the creatures of Plastikos

Two Oceans Aquarium
Photo courtesy Max Plastic Artworks

Two Oceans Aquarium invites you to discover creatures from the mythological floating island of waste called Plastikos from October 2010 to January 2011. Produced by Simon MAX Bannister, Plastikos is a unique exhibition that aims to raise awareness about waste – particularly plastic and micro plastic – and its impact on the oceans, all through art.

The exhibition will include giant sculptures and micro plastics in suspension. The works are all made from reclaimed polyethylene plastic which has been collected from the shorelines, roadsides and landfills of South Africa.

According to Simon, “We now know that the ocean’s living organisms have to compete more than ever to find food, and often mistake the colourful … plastics as tasty bites. Micro plastics now outnumber plankton in all [of] the major oceanic gyres.

“Seals, birds, fish and whales unwittingly face the risks of entanglement, choking or starvation because of our ignorance of what happens to our discarded waste. Reusing the waste I have removed from the natural environment as the medium for the artworks demonstrates the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle, [which is] mixed with an environmental paradox to [help us] rethink our understanding of what plastic really is.

“I see plastic as an ambivalent resource material, reflecting the paradox of humanity’s impact on the interconnected living organism of Earth. Through our incredible creative mastery of the elements, we have forged a new substance that can be moulded to our every desire. Progress cannot be stopped, but we must rethink our uses of this material. Our disposal methods need to take into account the forces of nature and we must truly acknowledge the fact that everything we create must go somewhere. My ocean is your ocean, your ocean is our children’s ocean.”

To find out more about Simon’s work, visit www.maxplanet.info.

In conjunction with Plastikos, we will be welcoming the 5 Gyres team to our shores in December 2010. This team is involved in bringing attention to the gyres (a gyre is “a circular pattern of currents in an ocean basin”, according to Dictionary.com) of plastic marine pollution in our oceans today. 

In 2008, Dr Marcus Eriksen crossed the Pacific from California to Hawaii on a raft made of 15 000 plastic bottles (see www.junkraft.com). By 2010, the team has had a chance to cross three oceanic gyres – the North Pacific with Captain Charles Moore and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean gyres with their own organisation, 5 Gyres.

They are currently doing a South Atlantic trip to Cape Town as a 4th leg of their five-gyre expedition, and hope to arrive in Cape Town around 7 December.

We will be host a series of talks by this interesting team, who also promised to host open days on their boat. We’ll keep you posted!

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