It may not be the first time plastic is used in an art form, but it could well be the first time plastic is being re-used as a community building feature art piece. Wisteria Place, a new senior’s residence in Richmond, BC has a feature piece that incorporates plastic waste from its construction as well as from the residents-to-be. “It has truly been a collaborative effort, good for building our community and saving the environment”, suggests Sheila Lively, General Manager at Wisteria Place.
The feature piece, in the shape of a wisteria tree, is a first-of-its-kind for PECO. Its founder and creative director, Roger Brenninkmeyer, explains the concept as a circular metaphor: "The tree is not a single entity. Rather, it’s a collection of pieces that make up the tree; very much like each individual resident making up the Wisteria Place community."
The making of the feature piece, comprised of 126 shapes melted from approximately 18,000 shopping bags covers a height of 12 feet tall by 16 feet in width and took almost two month to fabricate.
Deanna Geisheimer, founder of Art Works and curator of the Wisteria Place art collection inspired the idea of installing a dynamic, larger-than-life artwork: "So it had to be something that was spectacular, something that would grab people's attention. It needed to be unique. It needed to cover a massive space."
Working in partnership with PECO, detailed mock-ups helped bring the vision to life. After installation which took a whole day, the project has been heralded as a huge success. The finished art work is a true example of how working as a community can create a big treasure from a lot of trash.