A few months ago I attended a design forum in Tonsley, South Adelaide. Interestingly this location was formerly a thriving car plant (owned by Mitsubishi), which closed several years ago. With private and government funding the region has been regenerated beyond recognition. The site now comprises trendy townhouses, a state of the art university campus and community college. One of the key speakers at the awards was Dr Brandon Gien who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Good Design Australia Awards. Recently they decided to make their commemorative awards from recycled waste plastic recovered from the sea.

It is shocking to think that a third of world’s sea turtles have been found with plastic waste in their stomachs. This man-made material is non-biodegradable and is having a devastating effect on marine wildlife. That is why it is always great to hear of ingenious ways to recycle this substance. Many companies are fabricating furniture and even worktops from recycled plastic. There are even artists like Thomas Deininger, who have created large pictures from discarded waste.

As a designer, I am always interested to discover what other artists around the globe are creating. Previously I have always been attracted to realism and was always focused on technical ability rather than creativity. However, as I have got older/wiser my horizons have broadened exponentially. That is why the works of Thomas Deininger really appeal to me. Instead of creating with a conventional medium of oils, acrylics, gouache, watercolour etc. Thomas uses discarded waste. In my opinion, the results are outstanding and unlike anything, I have ever seen before.

In a consumer-driven world, it is depressing that we have become a disposable society. Previously I have written articles about sculptors who use reclaimed agricultural machinery in their artworks. However, the concept of composing a picture from discarded plastic waste is inspired. Thomas Deininger sources everything from old sneakers, toy dolls, bottles to create amazing three-dimensional artworks. From a distance, they look highly realistic and pretty conventional. However, on close inspection, the illusion becomes more apparent and you can see all the layered elements of the composition.

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