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Gifts of the sea

Sea pollution

 

Summary

The installation sheds light on the pollution of the oceans through plastic waste by presenting some artefacts made out of PET waste and natural materials. It was created in collaboration with the artist Veronika Richterova.

Veronika Richterova has been interested in creating art objects (“sculptures“) from PET waste (especially plastic bottles) for a long time. In the past, she had cooperated on a project that involved using plastic waste to make souvenirs. That project aimed to provide a means for improving the living conditions of local island people, generating employment and strengthening the local economy. We contacted her and discussed cooperating on making an installation that provides information on plastic waste in the oceans. She agreed with the whole Museo Mundial concept and we reached an agreement on the details of the installation.

Details

This museum installation presents objects that imitate other items from the museum. They are presented in an old museum showcase rented from the department of geology. The plastic artefacts installation is presented in such a way as to conjure up the image of old antique objects that are respectable and serious.

  • The artefacts are accompanied by texts about the largescale pollution of the sea and a set of photos (by Veronika Richterova) from the Cape Verde Islands (especially Boavista Island). Many tons of rubbish is washed up there from the huge rotating waste vortex in the Atlantic Ocean. This vortex comes from West Africa as well as from many other locations around the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The movement of the sea converts the waste into a microscopic substance that is consumed by animals as food.
  • This sparsely populated island is an example of a place where turtles lay their eggs and the young often die from eating small bits of PET waste.
  • The majority of the material that Veronika Richterova used to create her artefacts was collected from that place. It is a mixture of the remains of PET waste and natural products. Visitors can see the objects and read information about the original source of all the materials.
  • A small folding picture book displaying selected items (artefacts) was published to provide accompanying material for visitors.
  • The artefacts are accompanied by a map of floating plastic waste. The rights to use this map were granted to us by our partner organisation NaZemi.
  • This installation is mainly connected to Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7 (“Ensure environmental sustainability”) and MDG 8 (“Global partnership for development”). It helps to combat our tendency not to care about our waste, which leads to the pollution of water, air and the earth in general. Furthermore, it highlights the danger posed by waste in the seas and draws people´s attention to this issue. At the same time, the artefacts are accompanied by information about pollution and the dangers posed by the increasing amount of waste.
  • The installation is displayed in an old, antique showcase in the Municipal Museum of Ústí nad Labem.
Museo Mundial_CZ_Gifts_1

The installation is displayed in an old, antique showcase

Museo Mundial_CZ_Gifts_2

The inauguration of the installation

Museo Mundial_CZ_Gifts_3

A coffee mug made from waste materials

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Artwork made from natural materials and PET waste

    Budget + resources

    Budget needed:

    Proofreader of english text

    38€

    Preparation of the installation

    750€

    Printing of the banner

    77€

    Printing of the information brochure

    558€

    Installation of the exhibition

    462€

    Total

    1885€

    How to do it step by step

    1st Step:

    Choosing the topic

    At the start we had to decide on the topic. It was clear that we wanted to create an installation about waste. After some initial research, we asked Veronika Richterova to get involved, because she was making artefacts from plastic waste from the oceans and we were interested in her artwork. This step took about two weeks to complete.

    2nd Step:

    Negotiations with the artist

    We contacted the artist and started negotiations with her. She told us that she had collected a lot of plastic waste and that she would make artefacts out of it. So we negotiated the necessary terms for cooperation and then started to prepare the exhibition. This step took us around three weeks to complete.

    3rd Step:

    Finding the place

    The third step was to find a place for the installation. We identified the Municipal Museum in Usti nad Labem and made a plan to exhibit two installations – Newseum and Gifts of the Sea. Representatives from the museum and the local authorities agreed to cooperate with the Museo Mundial Project and to host these installations in the museum. The museum offered us a showcase that was just perfect for the artefacts. This stage took us about four weeks to complete.

    4th Step:

    Preparing the texts and maps

    Veronica Richterova made the artefacts and we gathered information about plastic waste in the oceans. We commissioned some research and prepared the texts. Finally, once the texts were ready, Veronika Richterova made the posters to accompany the installation. This stage took us about four weeks to complete.

    5th Step:

    Implementation

    Veronika Richterova installed the artefacts with their accompanying texts in the Municipal Museum of Usti nad Labem. The Gifts of the Sea installation was installed together with “The Newseum”, another Museo Mundial installation by the artist Tamara Moyzes (both installations are located in the same room at the Municipal Museum of Usti nad Labem). The vernissage took place on 10th December 2014. This step took about three days to complete.

    Evaluation

    Ups & Downs

    Ups

    • The cooperation with the artist was very effective and fast.
    • The cooperation between the artist and the museum was also quite good.

    Downs

    • The installation does not include an interactive element.
    • As the museum is currently renewing its collections, the installation looks quite solitary.

    Feedback from visitors

    • Analysis is ongoing.

    Internet links + other sources

    Veronika Richterová: Website of the artist in English:

    www.veronikarichterova.com/en/

    Veronika Richterová: Different PET-Art sculptures:

    www.veronikarichterova.com/en/my-works/pet-art-sculptures/

    Colossal: Blogpost on Richterová's work:

    www.thisiscolossal.com/2015/04/recycled-plastic-bottle-plant-sculptures-by-veronika-richterova/

     This website has been produced with the assistance of the European Union.
    The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Museo Mundial project partners and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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