Fantastic Creatures and How to Make Them

A host of inventive and imaginative masterpieces were created at last weekend’s Marine Debris Art Workshop with participants transforming a pile of old rubbish into unique designs of their own.
Alice James with her marine debris artwork.

More than 300kg of rubbish was collected earlier this month when NACC hosted the annual Geraldton Big Beach Clean Up and this debris collected provided most of the materials that were used during the Workshop.

Local artist Rose Holdaway guided participants through a few simple techniques and then challenged them to find one special object to use as the base of their artwork.

“We had a fabulous group of people come along, and they created a really diverse range of artworks,” she said.

“Each piece was unique, displaying its own character, and I was really pleased with the final results.”

Workshop participant Vanessa McGonagall said the transformation from debris to art was really quite magical.

“You start with one oddly shaped piece of plastic, or a brightly coloured piece of rope, and create something totally new and unexpected,” she said.

The Workshop was organised by NACC Sustainability Coordinator Emma Jackson.

Surrounded by a range of tools, adhesives, and a range of other construction items – including screws, nails, wire, and more – Emma set the tone for the day by reflecting on the Big Beach Clean-up, the amount of marine debris collected, the importance of waste reduction, and recycling, and then, together with Rose, watched and helped as participants turned rubbish washed-up on local beaches into unique art-forms.

“The workshops are a lot of fun, and a fantastic way to help raise awareness of the issue of marine debris,” said Emma.

“People start picking up marine debris because they want to find those special objects to make their artwork, but as they keep picking it up they realise how big the issues really is.”

Results from a feedback survey taken at the end of the day showed an increase – from 36% to 73% – of participants who said that they would now pick up rubbish every time they go to the beach after coming to the workshop.

The public is invited to have a look at all the amazing creations when they go on exhibit at the Marine Debris Art Exhibition which opens at the ACDC Gallery on November 10 at 6:30 pm as part of National Recycling Week.

The two workshops, and upcoming exhibition, are part of the Reduce Your Use and Recycle project funded by the Waste Authority of Western Australia through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account. The project is delivered in Geraldton in a partnership between the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC), the City of Greater Geraldton and Meedac Inc.

For more information about recycling in Geraldton, please visit NACC’s website.

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