Plastic Coral – Sustainable Art at AWRE (Part 1)

We sat down with Maria Gallo, curator and artist for the art piece ‘PLASTIC CORAL’ that will come to life at AWRE 2017.

Maria co-founded Chi&Ko, a multi-purpose Melbourne based business with a strong focus on sustainability and community.

What is the project?
It’s a wall sculpture resembling a nave of a gothic cathedral stain glass window, traditionally made in flat panels. This sculpture will be a representation of the Great Barrier Reef, however it would be composed of plastic bottle caps and plastic bottles. It will be a colorful welcoming to the AWRE 2017 Exposition. With its geometrical drawings attracting the crowd towards it and creating curiosity around how it has been made. There would flyers and/or videos of various ways plastic can be reutilized and recycled within the installation.

What materials have you been using?
The piece will include

  • Plastic bottles
  • Rope
  • Timber
  • Paper

What influences are you using?
I want to create a space for the viewer to gain perspective about the negative and positive charge on earth. The contrast between aspects of the natural world, physical world and the human mind.

It implies a distinction between the natural and the artificial, with the artificial being understood as that which has been brought into being by a human consciousness, a human adopted behavior and man made objects such as plastic product. It’s an opportunity to try to gain a profound knowledge about the reality we live in and the human existence.

What does the solution represent?
It’s placed publicly so we as contemporary living human beings can share the same experience. It will stimulate the senses of the viewers through mapping the coral reef and recreating its beauty using bottle caps.

The center of the installation would be those corals that are in danger of extinction, as an ode to its importance to Australian fauna and identity and to touch upon philosophies linked with AWRE 2017 questioning what we are doing to make the world a better place.

Join us for Part 2 of the ‘Sustainable Art’ story to see how the project is progressing and what sustainability means within the art industry.


Head to the Chi&Ko website to find out more about Maria and her other sustainable art projects.

https://www.chiandko.com/