by Alice Carroll
Reuse art isn’t just an activity for kids, but it’s a way a lot of famous artists express themselves and promote environmental activism. To inspire you in your creative endeavors, here are five super unique recycling artists from around the world.
Yuken Teruya is as artist based in New York and Berlin who uses toilet paper rolls, shopping bags, and common paper in works that reflect the life, history, and untouched nature of his homeland Okinawa. He takes a modern twist on the ancient Japanese art of Kirigami, a form of origami where the paper is cut instead of folded. Teruya cuts intricate tree shapes and pushes them through the interior of the bag, making an enclosed environment. Teruya has used lots of McDonald’s and designer bags in his art.
Leo Sewell is an American “found object” artist who uses recycled material to make sculptures of plastic, metal, and wood. From growing up near a dump, Sewell has been playing with junk for fifty years and has developed his own assemblage technique. Leo’s work can be found in over forty museums and private collections and has also been featured on the children’s show Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. His art prominently features animals and follows naturalistic themes.
Veronkia Ritchterová is a Czech visual artist who deforms plastic bottles with heat and makes sculptures. Since 2004 she has used thousands of bottles to create hundreds of objects, that Ritchterová calls PET-ART sculptures. Her cartoonish and nature-inspired style demonstrates how we can all find beauty in garbage.
Aurora Robson is a Canadian American artist who creates sculptures, paintings, and collages from plastic debris that focus on environmental themes. By intercepting the waste stream, Robertson repurposes household and industrial plastics while bringing awareness to plastic pollution. In 2008 she founded a non-profit called Project Vortex that supports other reuse artists and encourages the cleanups of waterways.
John Dahlsen is an Australian contemporary environmental artist that uses found objects, often ocean litter plastics, from Australian beaches in his work. Dr. Dahlsen’s abstract compositions comment on the passage of time and mankind’s relation to the landscape. This artist describes his role in fighting for the environment as creating art that shares a positive message about beauty and also gives examples of how we can reuse in creative ways.