Plastic art project carries a message

Visual Arts Curator Ari Edgecombe and artist Janet de Wagt with some of the plastic collected for the You, Me and the Sea project. Photo: Supplied

YOU, Me and The Sea, a community art activation and installation, aims to educate people about plastic, the environment, and recycling.

Invercargill’s interim museum and art gallery He Waka Tuia and artist Janet de Wagt have joined forces to deliver the project, which will see de Wagt visit schools throughout Southland to create artworks, before opening up a special space in He Waka Tuia for visitors to come and create a piece themselves.

“It’s a way of highlighting the plastic that ends up in the sea, that fish and animals eat, and to slow down the process of it getting to the dump, and actually making it into an art form that is based on the sea,” de Wagt said.

Everyone was invited to contribute to the underwater scene which would be created in the gallery.

Visitors to He Waka Tuia would be able to register for workshops to help make the artwork, which would also include pieces created by school pupils during the seven weeks.

Meanwhile, people were asked to continue to drop off their thoroughly cleaned plastics to the special You, Me and The Sea drop-off bins at various locations in Invercargill.

The final pieces of You, Me and The Sea will be displayed among de Wagt’s paintings, as well as taonga (treasures) and artefacts from the Southland Museum & Art Gallery to form the Coastal Murihiku exhibition, which will open on Saturday.

de Wagt said she hoped those who chose to take part in You, Me and The Sea, whether that be dropping off their plastics, joining in the creation of the artworks, or coming to view the exhibition, took one particular message away with them: “Realise how special the Southland coast is, and not to pollute it.”

  • You, Me and The Sea drop-off bins are at He Waka Tuia, corner of Kelvin and Don Sts, ILT Stadium Southland, and Invercargill Public Library.