After months of collecting and recycling plastic bottles, a massive garbage art sculpture of Christ was erected in the Ta ‘Pinu basilica in Gozo on Friday.
It is issued for three months.
In “trash art”, artists use objects that are normally thrown away to create art.
The climate-related image of Christ was made from empty plastic bottles, all sourced locally, and underscores the alarming levels of plastic consumption on the small island.
The bottles were recycled by local residents or picked up during clean-up work around Gozo, which was organized by the cast-out project in the summer. The bottles collected during these “throw-pick” events were cleaned for use in the artwork. Volunteers between the ages of five and 76 came to the regular clean-up work.
“We hope that our Christ can change the way people think.”– Jo Curtis
The environmental artist Joseph Barbara is working on the art installation. Photo: Martin Pillow
The 4.5 by four meter installation was created by the Maltese environmental artist Joseph Barbara. Barbara has been recycling used plastic materials and turning them into art for over 30 years.
In 2007 he also made Malta’s first eco Christmas tree with 4,000 used plastic beverage bottles.
“The Cast-Out project is a call to people to be aware of the damage plastic pollution is doing to our environment, and although it’s frightening, together we can make a difference and something beautiful too,” said project manager Jo Curtis Times of Malta.
Curtis made a connection between the name of the project and Christ.
“The name refers to the way we dispose of our plastic bottles and rubbish. Christ was also cast out and crucified by man, but he is resurrected. The plastic bottles are reused, that is, they are born again, like Christ. “
“We hope our Christ can change the way people think,” she said.
Curtis said volunteers collected over 451 trash bags from their weekly trash collection events over the summer.
A group of volunteers after a rubbish collection campaign in Ulysses Grove, Xewkija.
This is not Curtis’ first art project. In 2012, to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, she had set up a huge art installation known as The People’s Monarch.
For this installation, 5,000 people had become part of a huge work of art through their personal photos, which were used in a huge photo mosaic portrait of Her Majesty.
As when she came up with the idea of a Christ Trash Art installation, she worked directly with the artist and managed the project.
“Our main message will be that the bottles used for this art project could have been left in our landscape. We hope this article inspires people to think about how to use plastic smarter and become more aware of the harm to the environment.
Although the cast-out project reached its target number of bottles for installation, Curtis said the weekly rubbish collection events will continue.
“The two volunteer groups we founded are enthusiastic and love the activity because they know that they are doing their part to improve their environment and their planet.”
Curtis hopes that when the three months at Ta ‘Pinu are over, the work of art will find a “forever home”.
“Even if we don’t manage to find a place for the piece in the long run, the plastic bottles are attached without glue and can thus be recycled with minimal environmental impact.”
The campaign is funded by the Ministry of Gozo and supported by the European Parliament Liaison Office in Malta and the Malta Campus of the Queen Mary University of London together with Pillow Spaceframe Ltd and the Melita Foundation.
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