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Monday, 25 March 2019 11:45 pm

Somes/Matiu Island art workshop to turn plastic into fantastic

OCEAN CLEAN-UP: Anti-pollution mural made by the children at a Waiheke Island workshop

BUDDING artists are invited to MATIU/SOMES ISLAND at Queen’s Birthday weekend to turn plastics found on beaches into art.

Plastic trash found on Wellington beaches, or brought in by families, will be transformed into sea creatures in a workshop to raise awareness for plastics pollution in the ocean.

“It kills two birds with one stone,” says Terese Mcleod, right, the summer ranger for Matiu/Somes Island.  “You clean up the beaches and then there is the political message.”

Most rangers on the island are volunteer workers helping out the Department of Conservation.

At Queen’s Birthday weekend, there will be an art workshop for children and their families on June 1-2. Artist Jennifer Fountain, who was involved in a similar event on Waiheke Island, will be on hand to help.

The idea was inspired by United States artist and anti-plastic advocate Dianna Cohen.

Mrs Cohen incorporates plastic bags into her artwork and has spoken about plastics pollution on online educational site ted.com.

She was involved in the BYO Bag event on Waiheke Island, with Ms Fountain, advocating the banning of plastic shopping bags.

Ms Fountain will be bringing down a mural made by the children at the Waiheke Island workshop for display at the Matiu/Somes Island event.

“Using creativity is a fun way to learn more about plastics and to really value our beautiful ocean environment,” says Ms Fountain.

Photos of plastic pollution on beaches all around New Zealand and samples from the “great Pacific garbage patch” will be on display on the island.

The “great Pacific garbage patch” is a large collection of marine debris in the Pacific Ocean pushed by tides into a large grouping.

The Jonah Project, which works in the rescue and safety of sea mammals, will also be represented on the day by members giving out information on how to prevent harm to sea life.

“Plastic breaks into small bits in the sea, but instead of disappearing, it attracts other poisons and then is eaten by sea creatures from tiny fish up right up to whales,” says ranger Jo Greenman.

A coin donation BBQ will be serving sausages to help raise funds.

Funds raised from the weekend will go towards buying works of art created by seven artists who have stayed on the island.

The pieces will be on show in the island’s buildings that are open to the public.

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  1. Excellent work Hoani, you a definitely a journo nga mihi nui na Terese

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