A public artwork aimed at highlighting plastic waste has divided locals. Some say the sculpture is so ugly that it will create more trash.
Plastic Mountain in West Norwood, south London, consists of compacted earth built around a metal cage with pieces of plastic waste attached to it.
The environmentalists who created the monument say it is important because it highlights the problem this country has with plastic waste.
They say the sculpture was designed to contrast the natural with the artificial and challenge the viewer to rethink their plastic habits.
But locals aren’t so sure and even its creators admit it’s a “Marmite” piece.
A public art piece erected to highlight plastic waste has divided locals. Some say it’s so ugly that more people will throw away trash (pictured: Plastic Mountain).
Plastic Mountain (pictured) in West Norwood, south London, consists of compacted earth built around a metal cage with pieces of plastic waste attached
More than 1,000 local residents were involved in the project, many of whom crowdfunded it and collected pieces of trash to attach to the sculpture.
The piece was transformed into a “mountain” using compacted earth, which will slowly be dismantled over the following weeks and months.
The wire cage, which its creators describe as a “ghostly skeleton,” and bright plastic pieces will ultimately be all that remains of the controversial artwork.
It was designed by local artists and environmentalists Briony Marshall and Adeline Aletti to “slip” in rain and wind, exposing the plastic parts.
The project is supported by Arts Council England, Lambeth Council, Norwood Forum, Friends of the Earth and local businesses.
Despite being described as a “participatory public artwork”, some locals remain unconvinced, arguing it makes the area look even worse.
Others claimed that pieces of trash had come loose from the sculpture, but the creators insisted that the trash was securely attached to the frame with a string.
“I hope we can all agree that this is the worst piece of ‘art’ I’ve ever seen,” one local said on Facebook.
“I complained to the council about it but they didn’t do anything.” There are even studies on how the beauty/ugliness of your surroundings affects life and ugliness doesn’t show well.
It was designed by local artists and environmentalists Briony Marshall (right) and Adeline Aletti (left) to “slide” in rain and wind, exposing the bright plastic pieces
Despite being described as a “participatory public artwork”, some are unconvinced, arguing that it makes the area look even worse (pictured, the sculpture in West Norwood).
The wire cage, which its creators describe as a “ghostly skeleton,” and bright plastic pieces will ultimately be all that remains of the controversial artwork (pictured).
“It wouldn’t surprise me if the presence of this monument actually leads to more trash in our area.” Honestly, I could go on a whole “old man rant” on this post, but I’ll try to keep my dignity .
‘It’s terrible. It’s like pouring sewage onto the ground to protest a poor sewage system, or tearing down houses to complain about the lack of affordable housing.”
Another wrote: ‘Our child could make a better sculpture.’ She is six.’
“It’s an ugly eyesore,” said one, while another local described it as an “absolute state of affairs”.
Another added: “It’s an eyesore. The sooner it goes away the better, and the trash will go with it.”
“This makes the area look even more barren, why do we need it?” another wrote.
One local resident simply described it as a “pile of shit.”
However, others said they understood the message behind the sculpture and insisted it wasn’t meant to be pretty.
“It’s an eyesore. The sooner it melts the better, and the trash will be swept away with it,” one local said of the public work of art that is expected to erode in the coming weeks and months
One of the creators, Briony Marshall, said there was a “vocal minority” who didn’t like the sculpture, but it still carried a strong message
“Art will always attract primitive comment, but the fact that it keeps being mentioned here means that it works and stimulates debate, as all good art should,” said one.
Another said: “It’s not pretty, it’s very ugly – isn’t that exactly the point?”
“The simple message is that unrecyclable trash will make our neighborhoods, and indeed our world, an ugly and toxic place.”
“The fact that it got such a strong reaction here suggests to me that it was very effective. I suspect the artist will be very pleased when he reads these posts.”
And another said: “Guys, art isn’t supposed to be beautiful.”
“It’s meant to start conversations like this.”
Another commented: “The state of the main street sometimes shows that many people don’t care about clutter or pollution.”
“As ugly as it is, this ‘sculpture’ aims to make people think about our impact on the environment.”
Creator Briony said there was a “vocal minority” who didn’t like it – but it still contained a strong message.
A sign near the sculpture explains that the public artwork is “here to spark a conversation.”
Locals are divided on Plastic Mountain (pictured). Some said they understood the message behind the sculpture and insisted it wasn’t meant to be pretty
She said: “The sculpture has not slipped, it is doing what we have always said, which is that the earth is eroding and disappearing and the plastic waste is left behind.”
“This is intended to show that nature has its cycles, but plastic is not and will not remain a part of it.”
“The plastic waste in the sculpture was entirely collected from the streets surrounding the sculpture, and during the making of it, we got many people to pick up the trash and clean up the area.”
“Everything is attached to a metal framework inside the sculpture and therefore should fall down.”
“In the rare event that the string fails, we have local partners check it daily and we check it two to three times a week.”
“But yes, it seems to be something of a Marmite project with some great sports and a vocal minority who don’t like the look of it.”