With her ability to suspend herself from anything in the world, we wanted to create art that could show how little individual efforts mattered unless we could stop plastic at the source.
The next step – was to collect as much plastic as possible.
Greenpeace Greece and local grass-root organizations like Garbage Art Corfu helped us transform our concept from idea to reality by connecting our mission to local schools and individuals. Ultimately we collected over ten thousand pieces of plastic!
We spent the next few days tying the plastics together with old fishing line that was scavenged from the dumps of the Gouvia Marina.
Marjan, a local sailor, introduced us to the owner of the Marina when she heard our call for help. They graciously offered us space, shade, and food while we worked to meticulously tie the individual pieces of plastic together so that they wouldn’t escape.
We tested our setup at the Marina, where Katerina and her rigger Spiros Badios hung off a massive boat crane.
The dock at the Marina was our playground and Dimitri, the manager of the Marina, graciously offered us access to their boat crane. With their help, we were able to float the plastics around to see how they would behave in the water, without too much fear of them escaping.
There, we discovered first hand how hard it was to keep the plastics from floating all over the place.
Even within the sheltered confines of the Marina, the plastics would constantly try their best to float away. It was a constant struggle to move them in and out of position and a preview of how tough it would be for us to replicate this project in nature.
We had to find a way to transport the plastics across the island without getting them tangled.
One of the biggest concerns we had was figuring out how to transport the plastics to the most remote pristine locations on the island. Thankfully, volunteers like Stamatis Chalkias, Theodore Bourkas, Marjan Hoogendoorn and Peter Kraan graciously offered their trucks and boats to us to be loaded up with plastics!
And carefully place them around the most dramatic caves we could find for Katerina to hang from
For this shot, we had to carefully carry thousands of bottles down a steep pathway before un-tangling them and laying them out to illustrate plastics flowing from land into sea.
To illustrate how plastics inevitably flow from land into the sea, despite our best efforts to stop them.
To keep the plastics from escaping, we had to tie them down to larger bottles that we filled with rocks that acted as anchors.
Despite the weights, every time a large ship would pass by, our entire landscape would change. Volunteers with sticks had to be placed strategically to act as human anchors to keep everything from flowing away.
For this project, we were able to retrieve all the plastics we tossed out…
Although these images look beautiful and peaceful, the reality was that every step of the process was a battle to control the plastics from escaping.
But in the real world, it’s becoming impossible to keep up with.
Very few corporations have decided to tackle the problem head-on, and while grassroots efforts are making a difference – it still isn’t enough.
Please join us in asking companies to stop producing so much plastic.
What we can do as leaders in the space, is to make sure that big companies act more responsibly and stop putting so much plastic out there in the first place.
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