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by Benjamen Judd
We’ve always thought that plastic bags were ugly things that just refuse to go away. They just keep floating around like yucky bits of flotsam. Same as plastic bottles and all those other bits of toot we keep polluting our neighbourhoods with.
But a new artist collective is changing this perspective. Launched in 2011, the Supercyclers site was showcased at the prestigious Milan Furniture Fair and gained instant international recognition. Liane Rossler and Sarah King started the project as a way of investigating the ways waste products could be reused and repurposed in beautiful ways. (You might recognise Rossler as the co-founder of Dinosaur Designs and Sarah King is an artist curator who trained as an architect).
A perfect example of their work is the Plastic Fantastic range, made from the plastic bags collected through constant trips to supermarkets. Moulded and hardened with the heat gun, the Plastic Fantastic range offers a durable and almost unbreakable series of homewares. Cups, bowls, plates – it’s a fascinating process, especially when you think about how flimsy these things were when they were in the shape of bags. The colour range is based upon the original colour of the plastic itself, but with crinkled details made through the heating and folding process.
Since the Milan Fair, the collective has grown to include a slew of up-and-coming Australian designers including Tamara Mayne, Mark Vaarwerk, Henry Wilson and Andrew Simpson. Henry Wilson is already on his way to becoming a name in the design industry, taking out the 2012 Qantas Spirit of Youth Award for craft and design. The Supercycle team has also added several design teams from the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland to their role-call.
For more information on the Supercycle project and collaborations, visit their website here.
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