There's a bunch of animals at the zoo made out of ocean garbage
There's a bunch of animals at the zoo made out of ocean garbage Pozzi and her team at the Washed Ashore project, achieve a remarkable and convincing array of textures. (Adam Mason of Mason Photography)
There's a bunch of animals at the zoo made out of ocean garbage
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Standing beside her several-times-life-sized sculpture, "Sebastian James the Puffin," one of 17 of her works installed at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, Angela Pozzi talked about the puffin's namesake. She created the work the same year her father James died.
 
"He's very dignified like my dad," Pozzi says of the puffin. It stands on a base of just the sort of entangled fishing gear that claims the lives of many ocean birds. The birds often fatally mistake plastic trash for food. These details are noted on a label beside the sculpture.
 
As she discussed the work, made completely out of trash that she and her team retrieved from West Coast beaches, Pozzi spotted litter on the ground. She didn't lose her train of thought as she reached for a discarded food tray. She pitched it in a recycling bin.
 
In Pozzi's sculptures, viewers can make out everything. From flip-flops, toothbrushes and eyeglasses to microwaves, pails and shovels. You can even see car keys. The works have their feet firmly planted in both environmental activism and the art world.
 
Louise Nevelson is a sculptor who created artworks from discarded New York trash. She is an inspiration for Pozzi. 

Pozzi also owns prints by two other favorite artists, Dr. Seuss and Alexander Calder. Like the two, Pozzi creates art that is both serious and playful.
 
"It has to be good art. Or else it won't do the message," she said on a tour of the works a few days before the exhibition opened. It is titled, "Washed Ashore: Art to Save The Sea." It is at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington. The works are on view until Sept. 5.
 
Despite the nature of the materials, Pozzi and her team at the Washed Ashore project achieve a remarkable and convincing array of textures. The feathers suggested around the puffin's eyes and on his chest lend him not only that distinguished look but also an astonishing naturalism.
 
Pozzi considers her past. She sees a logical progression from her childhood to the art she makes today.
 
"Ever since I was a small child, I would get excited about when the toothpaste started getting empty," she says. "I would get to have the toothpaste lid on top and turn it into a little cup for my trolls. I've always looked at repurposing supplies."
 
She didn't think of the repurposing then in environmental terms. But today, she says standing in front of a fish she made of plastics, scientists applaud her work for its ability to raise awareness. It happens in a way that the scientists can't.
 
"I need to reach inside of people," she says. That doesn't mean doing away with scientific facts. "But you have to grab them. And you have to make them care and you have to get their attention," she says.
 
On the scientific side, the scope of the problem is enormous. The exhibition reflects on the more than 315 billion pounds of plastics that litter oceans. This is according to a zoo release. The announcement refers to the pollution as "the ocean's deadliest predator -- trash."
 
Mary Hagedorn is a Smithsonian marine biologist and senior research scientist. She works at the zoo's Conservation Biology Institute. She is using fertility clinic techniques used for humans to save coral reefs.
 
Coral reefs are being threatened globally by surging ocean temperatures. The coral are not only animals, but they also are habitats.
 
"They are very complicated biologically," Hagedorn says, noting that coral reefs have some of the most restrictive reproductive schedules of any animals. The vast majority of coral species only reproduce once a year, for two to three days, and just 45 minutes each of those days. If coral stays bleached too long, it can throw off an already delicately balanced reproductive process.
 
Hagedorn says coral already contributes $350 billion a year to the global economy. She sees promise in the "kind of chemical warfare" that the species use to fight one another as they compete for light (as trees do).
 
"These antimicrobials are going to be really important in terms of our future pharmaceutical actions," she said. "They're a lot more than just a pretty face."
 
For Pozzi, the pretty faces of at-risk ocean life are made of objects that were irresponsibly discarded. It happened precisely because they were thought to have outlived their usefulness. In her sculptures, however, they experience a transformation. And Pozzi just sees the scale of her project growing and growing. (Mike Rowe, of "Dirty Jobs" and "Somebody's Gotta Do It" fame, spent an hour with the Washed Ashore team recently for a show. "He goofs around and he's silly. But he was really serious with us," Pozzi says. She noted that Rowe picked a boot for the penguin sculpture's bottom.)
 
"I've always thought that this should be a global project," she said. "We've created, in six years, 66 sculptures out of about 18 tons of garbage that just came ashore in a 300-mile stretch. And it's only just a few people picking it up. What if we got people around the world picking up garbage?"

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/theres-bunch-animals-zoo-made-out-ocean-garbage/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How is this art both serious and playful?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (60)
  • halliet-cel
    9/06/2016 - 12:04 p.m.

    This article is very serious and playful at the same time but I like what she is doing with it. I like how she is taking that trash out and showing how much is actually in the ocean and using it to make a sculpture. Its playful because this is a serious thing but yet shes turning it into something fun to get her point across. But its also really serious because the figure reveals the 315 billion pounds of plastic that is clogging up the ocean.

  • dsarah-dav
    9/07/2016 - 07:32 p.m.

    In response to "There's a bunch of animals at the zoo made out of ocean garbage", I agree with the making of these sculptures of animals made of garbage. The first reason why I like this is it shows people that we need to take better care of the environment because our trash that makes up those pictures is not beneficial in any way for the animals so, we need to take better care of the outside. Another reason why I like this art is it says in the article,"We've created, in six years, 66 sculptures out of about 18 tons of garbage that just came ashore in a 300-mile stretch. And it's only just a few people picking it up. What if we got people around the world picking up garbage?" This shows that this project doesn't only raise awareness to pick up garbage but, it is doing so. A third reason why I agree with this art is because it looks nice. At zoos you observe animals. It is rather exciting to see creative artwork of animals at a place surrounded by them. Although if not done correctly a sculpture like this could be a bit of an eye sore, I believe it it will make our eyes open to ways we can help our fellow living things.

  • sierrab-ste
    9/07/2016 - 09:49 p.m.

    This is a good idea. It shows the public just how much trash and plastics are floating around in the ocean that could easily kill the animals. They are teaching a lesson with art and I think that is great.

  • tiffanyh-ste
    9/12/2016 - 11:45 a.m.

    The sculptures are really cool but it's sad knowing how much garbage is in our oceans. I hope when people look at these sculptures they realize that the supplies actually came out of our oceans.

  • seth-fer
    9/13/2016 - 04:47 p.m.

    The art is both serious and playful to tell about something important while it's still eat to look at. It is serious because it tells about how ocean animals die because of sea garbage. It is also playful because it is funny how they made an animal, with trash that ends up in the sea that comes back to the shore.

  • jazmineb-bla
    9/15/2016 - 10:37 a.m.

    The art is serious and playful because its first playful by being funny and something of a funny object like the fish made. It's serious because that's a lot of trash in the water and it's not a good thing to have plastics that can kill animals in the water. Things like this cane cause extinction to a number of animals. Which that can cause too much of one animal and the whole cycle would be messed up. its not a good thing that, that much trash ended up in our ocean. I find this very serious and we need to start helping clean up trash more often.

  • briel-bla
    9/15/2016 - 11:53 a.m.

    answered question: This art could be serious and playful in multiple ways, lets start off with why I think this art could be serious; This piece/type of art is based on a very serious the problem is enormous. The exhibition reflects on the more than 315 billion pounds of plastics that litter oceans. This is very bad for creatures in the sea and could be more deadly than any predator. This is also very playful because the sculpture is very colorful and vibrant, but has a fun idea of reusing trash. summery: Angela Pozzi created a life sized sculpture of an animal made of trash taken out of the ocean so that it did not harm the creatures of the ocean. living organisms in the ocean can be severely affected by this and it is very deadly to them. She made a sculpture with a great message to express and spread the word for a good cause. by overall opinion: My overall opinion of this article was interesting and very different to read , I think it could have some more interesting details that really grab my attention. I feel like some of the details were excessive to include, they kind of just made the story longer and less interesting but I still love the overall idea of the whole story.

  • logan2-war
    9/16/2016 - 10:19 a.m.

    it amazes me that 315 billion pounds of plastics that litter oceans, and that no ones done anything about it. We depend of the oceans more than people realize. I'm glad that Pozzi is turning the trash into not only a positive art form, but also a shocking one. If people saw how much trash is in one sculpture I think it would make then think twice before dumping garbage into our oceans.

  • arams-wim5
    9/16/2016 - 01:10 p.m.

    This art is serious and playful by, the artist are making good art at of trash instead of wasting it so, they are recycling the trash by making something playful. It says in the text "Ever since I was a small child, I would get excited about when the toothpaste started getting empty,I would get to have the toothpaste lid on top and turn it into a little cup for my trolls. I've always looked at repurposing supplies."

  • shannonb-pav
    9/20/2016 - 10:00 a.m.

    This is a cool way to recreate trash and not to waste it.

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