13 July 2016

Rox De Luca

Saturday 16 to Sunday 31 July 2016 
Opening Friday 15 July 6-8pm

Gleaning for plastic, on the beach - new work

Image: For Eva H, 2016, (detail) work in progress, dimensions variable, found plastics, wire. Photo credit: Penelope Clay.

Each day Rox De Luca goes gleaning along her local beach, Bondi, Sydney. She is looking for flashes of colour or of whiteness against the sand, the signs that the beach—like every beach on the planet, sadly—is adjusting fragment by fragment to the deluge of plastic waste that our species generates daily. She collects the weather-worn and -shaped fragments, rebirthing them slowly from the sand, and she takes them home to clean and to categorize by size, colour and shape. Then the painstaking transformations take place…

De Luca’s works are humbling in their insistent reminder of our destructive, wasteful propensities. Vast gyres or garbage dumps of plastic and other debris have formed in the world’s major oceans. Some 90 percent of the debris to be found on Australia’s beaches is plastic: bottles, bottle tops, straws. A January 2016 World Economic Forum report forecasts that in the middle of this century our oceans will hold less fish than plastics. And—as De Luca’s gleaning intimates—plastics are vying with sand itself to form the core constituent of the planet’s beaches. De Luca wants her audience to intuit something of these displacements, and the vastness of their scale, when viewing the reformulated results of her gleaning for plastic, on the beach.

© Paul Allatson, University of Technology, Sydney 2016