Poet Sipeli transforms trash to beautiful art
Renowned local poet, Peter Sipeli, is piloting an initiative called ‘The Afterlife of Things’ to address the growing concern of trash.
Through poetry and photography, Mr Sipeli collects rubbish that washes up ashore on Leleuvia Island Resort near Ovalau during his morning walks and documents them for exhibition in the resort’s art gallery.
Under the direction of Colin Philp, the island has worked over the past eight years to restore the surrounding marine ecosystem that is now a thriving marine park. Over the years the island has banned plastics and chemicalbased sunscreen while encouraging guests to discard single-use plastics before coming to the island.
“This project is a broad project that seeks to asks questions about rubbish, especially the rubbish I collect daily on Leleuvia island. But to position a conversation around where does our rubbish go? Do we care once it leaves our home or has it finished its purpose to us? Where does all the rubbish that isn’t collected in rural areas go and how can we work together across sectors to think deeper about waste and rubbish disposal,” Mr Sipeli said.
He said at the national level, waste disposal is still a huge concern.
“Like most countries we try our best but small island states have trouble with this issue across the world.
“This project isn’t one about blaming people or government, it’s about asking people to think deeper about the things we buy as most of the time it ends up in the ocean and none of us want that.”
Mr Sipeli is a firm believer in adopting creative approaches to get people to start thinking deeper about where their waste goes.
“We can affect change and have a wonderful country that disposes rubbish in a way that does not ruin the environment around us. Many countries don’t have the answers yet, but if we keep asking questions we can get there.”
He is also the publisher of Fiji’s only online arts magazine which was founded by him and graphic designer Joshua Dean.
The duo have also created a series of postcards that attempts to create a new way of looking at discarded objects.
A collection of trash that had been found on the beach on Leleuvia Island near Ovalau Island converted into art by Peter Sipeli.