“We Are Plastic” explores the consequences of plastic pollution and its intimate connection to human habits. The use of recycled plastics to create art is appealing to us because even in our daily lives, we are each invested in the practice of recycling. The process of converting a discarded object’s function is mentally rewarding. Creating a human figure with plastic breathes a new life into the material. We hope that the presence of these sculptures on our university’s campus can create interesting social interactions. These life-size sculptures will mimic human behavior, and our decision to not include a face will add a mysterious quality to them. The reason for the placement of these sculptures in common areas, such as tables where people study or benches where people sit, is to make them approachable and more human. Our vision is that a student passing by one of these sculptures will sit down, and try to figure out the purpose of the sculpture. From the social interactions that its presence creates, we hope that students leave more aware of the plastics in their surroundings and their own everyday use of this material.
Megan Dwyer and Cindy Nguyen
Meagan Dwyer is a Senior undergraduate studying Studio Art and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Rice University. Her work is rooted in painting but often incorporates elements of sculpture. Her senior VADA thesis explores plastic waste and pollution of the landscape.
Cindy Nguyen is a Junior undergraduate studying Psychology and Studio Art at Rice University. Her experience in service-learning trips have inspired her commitment to speak out about environmental issues. These trips covered topics such as coral reef restoration, water supply crises and drought, and the Human Right to Water. The use of intricate patterns and saturated colors in her work refers to those in nature.