Inspiration hits you anywhere, but you always have to be looking and open to it. For Amsterdam artist Thirza Schaap, inspiration came in Capetown in 2012, where she was struck by the vast amounts of plastic waste on the beaches which kicked off her now-renowned project Plastic Ocean.
Schaap scoured the beaches looking for plastic waste that never stopped washing up on the shores. Back home, she transformed the seemingly meaningless pieces of waste into beautiful sculptured still-life objects. By photographing these sculptures and creating paradoxical images, she hopes to invoke an emotional reaction with the audience. A collision between the initial aesthetic appeal and the second glance: repulsion and the realization that this waste leads to such tragic consequences.
The aim of her first book Plastic Ocean is to create a wider awareness when it comes to pollution, and to help counter the use of plastic. “First and foremost, I want my work to move people. After that, I hope the realization will hit: ‘Hey, we are all responsible for the plastic problem!’ And finally, it would be great if this realization will lead to action,” said Schapp.
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