Plastic Fantastic

Two local environmental artists are making their mark using marine plastic or plastic detritus, otherwise known as ‘beach booty’. Both keen lifelong beach collectors, their works draw attention to issues around waste and pollution. We caught up with Narani Henson at the Byron Bay Surf Festival, and Helle Jorgensen at Tweed Regional Gallery where a solo exhibition of her work titled The Entropy Collection has just opened.

Narani Henson was born in New Zealand in 1976 where a love for the ocean was instilled in her at an early age. A keen surfer, avid collector and environmental artist she sees herself as a ‘custodian of the sea’. With the help of local marine conservation organisation Positive Change For Marine Life she collects marine plastic and turns it into evocative artworks.

Narani has been ‘transforming and re-using’ for as long as she can remember. Collecting marine plastic from the tide-line at her local beach, particularly after storms and heavy seas, has afforded her a bounty of beach booty which she sorts, cleans, and then hand stitches together to connect ideas of ‘needing to be fixed’ or ‘mending’. She has recycled marine rope, cast marine plastic in resin and created sculptural forms from the plastics she has gathered.

Narani’s most recent artwork Plastic Rain was an art installation commissioned by the Byron Bay Surf Festival in conjunction with Positive Change for Marine Life, and featured in Railway Park, Byron Bay throughout the Festival. She told us, ‘Byron Bay is known as an iconic beach community full of wave-loving people and pristine waters, but the reality is that plastic and rubbish pollute our beaches on a daily basis. It’s all about getting people to own their own consumption’.

Follow this link to a youtube clip of the art installation in situ at the Festival.

Narani will be exhibiting her latest collection of work at Bleach: Surfing The Fringe in February 2013. She will also be exhibiting a solo show at D’Bar caf gallery in Coolangatta in March 2013.

Thanks to Rachel Bending of Arts Northern Rivers

interview with Northern River Community Gallery

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