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Greening And Environment

V&A Waterfront launches the “Our Better Nature” (OBN) platform

The V&A Waterfront recently launched the “Our Better Nature” (OBN) platform. Nisha Maharaj, V&A Waterfront senior marketing manager, explains, “OBN is the V&A’s platform that speaks to our commitment to sustainability and an invitation to our community to join the journey as we believe every little act of good culminates in big changes. We encourage conscious consumption as a way to reduce reliance on landfill and inspire our community to be more responsible consumers.”

Central to this platform is a gigantic, suspended shopping trolley, an impressive 2.7 meters high, 3 meters wide, and 1.5 meters broad.

The entire installation is a collaboration between the V&A Waterfront, Platform Creative Agency along with local designers and makers. The concept has been brought to life by designer, Matt Edwards, who shares, “Our aim is to build consumer awareness around waste and promote conscious consumption. By using waste materials in the installation, we hope people will see the value in their discarded materials”

Cathy O’Clery, creative director at Platform Creative, adds, “Our hope is to inspire people to rethink their habits and make more sustainable choices. To do this we collaborated with creative local artists, especially those who could turn waste materials into beautiful art pieces.”

Crafted by Brendan Wessels and his talented team from Santa World, this custom-made trolley made from steel has been hand-shaped and welded to perfection. Lifted into place with rope access pulleys and secured to a purpose-built motor box that revolves, this trolley is a testament to engineering excellence and artistic vision.

The trolley features five massive shopping bags, each 1 meter in width and between 1.2 and 1.4meters high, crocheted by the Re.Bag.Re.Use team from Hout Bay.

Repurposed art: A new perspective on waste

Two of these vibrant shopping bags, one pink and one blue, are crocheted using approximately 660 empty bread bags each. The bright orange bag is made from repurposed Discovery Vitality T-shirts, the metallic black one from VHS tapes, and the mottled brown one, from recycled rope. These shopping bags are filled with magnificent artwork by Richard Mandongwe from Makombe Artworks, featuring:

 

  • Eight oversized toothbrushes made out of powder-coated galvanized wire
  • Eight hangers made out of steel bound in solid panel wire
  • Seven large bleach bottles made out of white recycled plastic bottles
  • Three large shoeboxes made from wood
  • Five AA batteries made from PVC drain pipes with galvanized wire structures inside
  • Each bag is supported by a wire frame made from steel. 

 

Wessels shares, “The project was a challenge as I had to create items I had never made before. It was a learning curve, but an exciting experience to collaborate with other artists. I’m incredibly proud to have my handiwork displayed at the Waterfront; it’s an honour for me.”

A community effort

Darmeris Makovere, part of the Re.Bag.Re.Use team that crocheted the bag made from t-shirts, expressed her amazement: “It is incredible to see our handiwork hanging in the Waterfront! I had no idea that this is how it would come out; it looks fantastic!” Crocheter Portia Chirawu adds, “I am so proud of what we have achieved and being part of a project that shares such an important message.”

The installation will be on display until September 2024 in Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre. Its main goal is to encourage people to be more mindful of their shopping habits and packaging usage.

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