A new large-scale public art installation Earth Poetica is now on display at 3 World Trade Center, an installation that was contributed to by the hands of volunteers across six different continents.
Earth Poetica is a project artist Beverly Barkat had been working on for over three years.
During this time, Barkat picked up plastic litter and urged her family and friends to send their plastic waste to her studio in downtown Jerusalem. Overflowing with wrappers, cartons, bottles, and bags both from Israel and overseas, Barkat’s studio was a representation of how our natural habitat has essentially been turned into a “plastic dump.”
Thus, Barkat set out to create a dialogue between nature and the human race coexisting with one another through Earth Poetica, a 13-foot-tall sculpture of planet Earth made from tons of plastic trash.
“I was haunted by the images that I saw on a television documentary about plastic waste…Plastic pollution is one of the most critical problems we face today…I wanted to make the beauty of planet Earth visible while at the same time showing very clearly the problem for which we are all responsible,” said Barkat.
Those who head to the 3 World Trade Center lobby can get a closeup look at the globe, which features 100,000+ pieces of plastic bags, wrappers, bottles, and packaging across 180 trapezoid panels.
The plastic is sorted by color, form, hardness, strength, and transparency, creating a stained glass effect, and is branded in Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, English, Spanish.
Throughout the process, a total of 50 tons worth of plastic waste was collected from beaches and waterways across the world from 100 conservationists across six continents (North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia/Oceania).
Barkat looks at Earth Poetica as more than just an art piece though–it also represents her questions regarding our present and future time on planet Earth.
“Earth Poetica is a timely artistic response to the global issue of plastic pollution. It is a contemporary artwork of an immense aesthetic value, which can, however, also be understood as a ‘site of moral agency’, as an invitation towards reflection and towards different acts in the present and future,” said Dr. Raffaella Frascarelli, Director of Nomas Foundation.
The installation is on display now and will be through November. You can learn more on Earth Poetica’s website.