Look out – it’s a giant plastic jellyfish!!
The last few months we have had the great pleasure of working with a highly motivated artist who creates sculptures from plastic trash. John Melvin has a huge list of projects under his belt and when he reached out to Plastic Free Cambodia, we wanted to do whatever we could to support his latest sculpture, which is being constructed and exhibited at the 1961 Gallery, Siem Reap.
John was working at the World Monuments Fund in 2016 and it was there he decided to do an art project in Siem Reap in 2017.
Initially by Skype, we talked and came up with ideas, contacts and other ideas about how John and Plastic Free Cambodia could work together; we talked about a clean up event and with only a small window of time to hold that, decided it wouldn’t be the most effective use of resources. Especially since John was mainly after plastic bottles, most of the bottles discarded on the street are fairly promptly collected, so it was going to be a huge effort with unclear success relating to the sculpture – and as it turns out two big clean up events took place in March, so both objectives were in fact achieved.
John was able to source bottles from Husk Cambodia, the Siem Reap Food Co-op (they also hold monthly recycle days), defects from a local bottle factory (didn’t know that was there!!!!) and a number of individuals that heard about the project and wanted to get involved. He’s also working on other collaborations with the likes of Naga Earth – another of PFC’s respected partners.
The giant plastic jellyfish is taking shape and the exhibit, part of John’s major project, Curbing Entropy, will open on 9 April at the 1961 Gallery and run until 30 April. More of John’s work is on his website.
The message in the bottle is for tourists, to see and reassess how they travel when it comes to single-use bottles. There are a lot of safe drinking water alternatives and ways that we can reduce the number of plastic bottles we use when we travel. This action protects local people and the environment and doesn’t take a lot of effort. Every bottle you don’t use makes a positive difference to the people of Cambodia.
Thank you John for your vision, your mission, your contagious positive energy and for including Siem Reap and Plastic Free Cambodia in your journey.