“Everyday-use plastic has been used for this artwork."
Delhi-based visual artist Manveer Singh has installed a 15-feet sea turtle artwork made out of plastic at Puri beach.
The artwork was created to make people aware of the harmful effects that plastic waste can have on the environment and aquatic life.
Manveer Singh is also known as ‘Plasticwalla’.
He chose Puri beach as the site for his artwork as it is a popular tourist spot.
The artist is the winner of the METIS Initiative on Plastics and Indo-Pacific Ocean 2021 – a collaboration between the Utsha Foundation and AFD.
The Olive Ridley turtle artwork is part of this initiative. The Olive Ridley turtle is a species of turtle and is named for the colour of its shell – an olive green hue.
Manveer’s entry was selected from 16 applicants from all across India.
The Indian artist’s entry, From Plastic to Art, was chosen in September 2021.
To create the artwork, Manveer collected plastic from across Bhubaneswar.
He also interacted with the public to spread awareness about plastic pollution and has led workshops in various schools and colleges across the city.
Bhubaneshwar: Manveer Singh has installed a 15-feet Olive Ridley sea turtle using plastic. "The idea is to depict the crisis faced by turtles & sea animals due to plastic; turtle's belly is clogged with plastic. Despite mass nesting in Odisha, very few Ridley's survive," he said pic.twitter.com/kCwpE9dysg
— ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2021
Manveer explained why he chose Olive Ridley as the subject for his artwork.
The Indian artist said:
“I choose Olive Ridley because mass nesting of these is very common in Odisha.
“All species on this planet are affected by plastic, including Olive Ridley.
“They often eat plastic after mistaking it for jellyfish.
“Mass nesting is really huge, but unfortunately, very few of these turtles survive.”
“I want to bring their crisis before the people because they play a big role in maintaining the life cycle on this planet.
“Everyday-use plastic has been used for this artwork.”
So far, the Indian artist has helped in upcycling and recycling more than 350kg of plastics in India.
He has used techniques such as weaving coloured plastics to create objects of different shapes and sizes to create art pieces.
Manveer talked about the support he has received from the public.
The Indian artist said: “People support me. I caution people about the plastics that they do not see that they are using.
“I ask them to check the packaging of products they buy. I appeal to them to give dry, multi-layered plastic to me.”
Manveer aims to continue working to spread awareness about plastic waste.
He added: “Plastic pollution has just started there. I want to make people aware from now only so that landfills are not made.”