‘Waste as Art’ – by Christine Gajin

I aim to highlight the devastating effects that humankind has had on our natural environment. Cyprus has one of the “…fastest growing waste generation rates, fuelled by high consumption patterns”. Christine Gajin, Catainia 2016.

This is due in part to the rising tourist industry that the island relies heavily upon for income. Furthermore, recycling initiatives began only a few years ago and such schemes have only been adopted by a small number of households.

The disposal of waste is uncontrolled, both on land and at sea. It is in response to this issue that I have based my research. With a primary focus on the sea and the creatures within it, I use melted plastic alongside other found and collected materials to create unconventional art pieces that display in particular the impact of plastic disposal into the ocean.

In my critical research, I have been tracking the development of various art movements and the changes in the use of artistic materials. Of particular interest has been the transition from oil paint, as seen in the early impressionist’s work, right up to contemporary works by Tim Noble and Sue Webster incorporating trash into their sculptural practice.

As an artist, I believe that even the most unattractive materials and waste products can and should be transformed into objects with value and beauty. As a way to highlight our wastefulness in society, like reusing found items and as a way to make my artwork relevant in today’s contemporary art scene.