Beach debris becomes art
VIRGINIA Casey has found a way to turn trash into treasure and in the process, educate children on recycling and help save the oceans too.
The real estate agent and mother of two spends her spare time crafting pieces of art from plastic pieces, rope and driftwood she finds washed up along Perth’s coast.
“I didn’t think we had enough plastic or debris on our beaches, but then I realised it was during winter that the rubbish would be washed up and if it wasn’t picked up, it would be sent back out to the ocean and potentially kill marine life and birds,” she said.
“I started collecting the rubbish, colour co-ordinating it and trying to find suitable pieces for my art.”
Ms Casey said what she found was a lot of micro plastic: bits of plastic that had broken down into small pieces and were at risk of being eaten by fish and birds. She was also surprised by the amount of toothbrushes, toys and pegs that washed up, as well as rope and fishing gear.
“These are all items that can kill and severely injure our marine and bird life,” she said. “There are so many documentaries I’ve seen where fish are feeding their babies these small pieces of plastic.”
Ms Casey’s artwork can take months to create, with the perfect pieces of plastic and debris needed.
“I will collect the rubbish for months and then spend that time fitting pieces together like a puzzle,” she said.
She insists her hobby is not a money-making venture.
“I put so much time and energy into it, and money framing them, but I have no interest in making money from it,” she said. “I take the artwork to schools and talk about sustainability, and how important it is to reduce, reuse and recycle.
“It creates a lot of joy for the kids seeing the artwork and it’s a positive solution to a bad problem.”
Ms Casey thinks if interior designers would back her type of art, it could motivate more people to make creative pieces from rubbish along the coast.