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  • Alyssa Mackay

Trash Fashion Art Exhibition Spotlights Beach Pollution

A touring exhibition that has been capturing attention with its message about marine life conservation is about to make waves in Redcliffe.

Starting this month at the Redcliffe Museum, Beach Couture: A Haute Mess is a collection of wearable art made from rubbish collected from beaches and oceans by artivist, Marina DeBris.

Marina said she hoped her artwork would convey a sense of urgency to viewers about the ever-growing problem of beach and ocean pollution.

“Also, that they see the magnitude of it, realising I am just one person collecting in very specific locations,” she said.

“Of course, the ultimate goal is that the public acts on this by changing habits and/or becoming involved with local groups, politicians, or starts their own grassroots section.”

The exhibition features two photo series with American model and actress Hannah Kat Jones wearing some of Marina’s outfits, which tell the story of society’s addiction to plastics, particularly single-use plastics.

There will also be a display called ‘Artefacts from the Anthropocene’, offering a glimpse into what a future archaeological dig could reveal.

Marina has been actively collecting waste from beaches since 1999 when she returned to the US from Bondi Beach. Most of the rubbish in Beach Couture: A Haute Mess was collected from Sydney’s eastern suburbs beaches, with some earlier works using rubbish from Venice and Playa Del Rey beaches in Los Angeles.

Marina said she collected rubbish daily, which had given her a good grasp of the specific issues surrounding ocean pollution.

“I also am acutely aware of other environmental issues,” she said. “I try to make pieces using those items specifically and often try to merge it with other issues, usually in the title.

“Pandemania was created during COVID when I was constantly picking up face masks – I still am! I also noted how the single-use coffee cups had expanded out of control, as well as the breeding of dogs. The piece is made up of over 900 face masks (I have many, many more), coffee cup lids and even a toy stuffed dog, all found on the beach.”

To kick off the exhibition, Marina will give an opening floor talk on Saturday, 2 December from 10am to 11am. The exhibition runs until Sunday, 18 February.

Beach Couture: A Haute Mess

Saturday, 2 December – Sunday, 18 February

(Opening hours: Wed-Fri, 10am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-3pm)

Redcliffe Museum

75 Anzac Avenue, Redcliffe.


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