Washed Up art exhibition explores the world’s relationship with plastic and ocean waste

Multimedia artist Alejandro Durán has collected ocean waste “washed up” onto the shores along Mexico’s Caribbean Coast and transformed it into environmental art installations.

Known as Washed Up, the art installations and photography project sees Alejandro Durán working with the plastic waste to create colour-based, site-specific sculptures that reflect the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.

In some of the installations, Alejandro Durán has distributed the objects the way the waves would. Often the plastic mimics algae, roots, rivers, or fruit.

While the art installations may be colourful and aesthetically pleasing pieces, the message the art conveys is to be conscious of our environment, and to encourage a change in the relationship with the world’s consumption of plastic.

Over the course of the project Alejandro Durán was able to identify plastic waste from 58 nations and territories on six continents that have washed ashore along the coast of Sian Ka’an, Mexico’s largest federally protected reserve and an UNESCO World Heritage site.

More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament. The resulting photo series depicts a new form of colonisation by consumerism, where even undeveloped land is not safe from the far-reaching impact of our culture of disposable products.

The Mexican-born now Brooklyn-based artist, Alejandro Durán, also teaches photography and video, and incorporates his wisdom as an environmental champion into his work.

Alejandro Durán’s website is also a place for sharing resources about how people can make simple changes to their lifestyle in helping reduce ocean waste, including buying reusable water bottles and using tote bags instead of plastic bags.

Washed Up is currently being exhibited at the Granary Art Center in Utah until 29 September.

All images: © Alejandro Durán

Alejandro Durán

Rosalind Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, music and arts. Rosalind also works as a counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com


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