San Francisco Zoo Transforms Plastic Ocean Trash Into Art

A giant star fish made of ocean-sourced garbage for a new exhibition at the San Francisco Zoo. Photo: Paul Chinn, courtesy the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sculptures of aquatic life at the San Francisco Zoo creatively re-purpose plastic waste found floating in the ocean in the exhibition “Buoy, Beat ‘n’ Bop,” organized by the nonprofit Washed Ashore, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

The thousands of pounds of materials utilized in the show were collected off the beaches of Oregon by volunteers. Much of the trash originated in Asia, including plastic bottles left over from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Disparate items such as plastic toys, assorted packaging, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and other assorted plastic, metal, and glass objects have been ingeniously crafted together into a strange seascape.

A whale’s rib cage, hovering jelly fish, and a kelp forest are just some of the uniquely sourced sculptures, all of which are interactive. Visitors are invited to push, spin, and even drum upon the artworks.

“I’ve created something I hope is beautiful and horrifying,” lead artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi told the Chronicle.

The exhibition will be on view at the Pachyderm Building, typically the turf of the zoo’s elephants, through September 23.

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