Filipino artist fights waste by using recycled waste in his paintings

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Filipino artist Gilbert Angeles incorporates expired paint and shredded plastic wrap into a painting he’s working on, at his studio in Plaridel, Bulacan province, Philippines on February 8, 2021. Photo taken February 8, 2021 2021. REUTERS / Eloisa Lopez

MANILA: When Filipino artist Gilbert Angeles discovered his country was one of the world’s largest contributors to plastic waste in the ocean, he felt compelled to act.

Angeles decided the best way to show how discarded waste could have new life in a different medium was to incorporate materials ranging from shredded plastic to old paint and leftover lumber into her paintings.

Since 2019, he has produced more than twenty paintings of this kind.

“I am making these works of art to raise awareness so that we can tackle waste in our region, to make ourselves more responsible in how we dispose of our waste, and to let us know where our waste is going,” said the 49 years old.

The artist sources his materials in his neighborhood in Manila or thanks to donations from contacts he has made since the launch of his environmental campaign.

Angeles recalls being prompted to take on the project after seeing a report on the Philippines being a major contributor of plastic waste.

The Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and China account for about 60% of the world’s marine plastic, or 8 million tonnes per year, according to a 2017 report from the Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment. .

Angeles’ works have since been exhibited in galleries, with the paintings selling for between $ 600 and $ 3,000, depending on the size. A portion of the proceeds goes to his environmental group, Green Artz, which encourages artists to use recycled waste in their work.

“I love that it gives us hope,” said Linda Pecoraro, general manager of the Conrad Hotel, where Angeles’ work is on display.

“It has beautiful colors and recycled plastic, reusing things that damage our environment and make them look beautiful.”

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