Plastic pollution is one of the world’s most serious environmental challenges, wreaking havoc on human health and marine life.
The situation is no different in Nigeria. Nigerian photographer and director Abdulrasaq Babalola creates art through environmental waste, and encouraging recycling. Talk about turning trash into treasure. He creates art using waste materials such as plastics, cans, etc., passes them through processes and converts them into very good arts and crafts.
His most recent artistic work, titled “The Plastic Angel,” is breathtaking. His team spent two days gathering almost 5,000 abandoned plastic bottles.
Speaking with Reuters, he said,
I just want the to understand the message that I am trying to pass, which is that plastic is actually beautiful, but at the same time, plastic pollution is dangerous—dangerous to humans and dangerous to our aquatic animals.
If you look at the angel behind me right there, you will see that the wings are the ones illuminating the angel while she is on an oxygen mask. The wings serve as her beauty, they are useful to her, which is illuminating her, and at the same time, it is harming her, which is the oxygen mask that she is putting on.
There can never be too much awareness on plastic pollution and I hope to be part of the solution and I hope when people see these works when it launches, people will know that this is a human invention that is intentional, so we can retrace our steps because this is affecting our environment, our marine animals and so we can tackle this in time before it gets too late.
Here’s a timeline of how the project started and the final result
6 September 2021
Abdulrasaq Babalola shared the project in 2021 which was to create a series of photographs and an art installation to remind the world that plastics pollution has gone worse. “Used plastics will be collected and converted into Angel Wings and Ats Murals with the help of @penieltheartist. It will be immortalized in a photo shoot, so that even when the installation has to come down, the images will live on, reminding us of our plastic output,” he said.
13 September 2021
They gathered, washed, separated over 5000 plastics with over 100 volunteers.
15 November 2021
The documentation of the project and the result.
Watch his interview with Reuters in the video below:
WATCH: Nigerian artist’s installations draw attention to plastic waste pic.twitter.com/qFn3yXRzqI
— Reuters Asia (@ReutersAsia) November 20, 2021