thirza schaap 'plastic ocean' series turns trash into sculptural still-lifes in a bid to stop pollution

thirza schaap 'plastic ocean' series turns trash into sculptural still-lifes in a bid to stop pollution

when thirza schaap moved to africa, she discovered that the treasure hunting tendencies she had as a child had resurfaced, only this time they had more of a global purpose. instead of collecting shimmering stones, seashells, feathers and branches, the dutch-born artist found herself stumbling upon unnatural objects inspiring her series ‘plastic ocean’, recycling her findings by collaging them into contemporary still-life photography in hopes of raising awareness around ocean pollution.

thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom
sunday drive



in her own unique way schaap carefully arranges trash against pastel backgrounds giving them a sculptural beauty and a contradiction that exposes the ugly truth. the artists altruistic practice involves scouring the beaches for plastic pieces, toothbrushes, straws, flip-flops, bottles, and any other object that have been thrown away, creating compositions that are colourful and tragically beautiful.

thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


our beaches are covered in plastic confetti and there really is nothing to celebrate’, expresses making artistic sculptures out of the objects I find, I try to evoke an emotional response.‘ photographed in the artists’ back garden, schaap’s series of abtract sculptures illustrate a clash between initial aesthetic attraction and on second glance, a realisation and repulsion as to how they came into existence.
thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom
brenton blue


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom
mussel mania


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom
beach toys



thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


thirza schaap plastic ocean designboom


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: kieron marchese | designboom

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