Gayle Chong Kwan dazzles audiences once again with Wastescape – an ambitious art installation made out of thousands of discarded milk bottles made to look like stalactites and stalagmites. This artificial cave-like environment has been constructed in a dark corner of London’s Southbank Center as part of the ongoing Festival of the World.
Gayle has a mile-long portfolio, but Wastescape is one of the most interesting pieces she has produced to date. Like so many other artists working today, the subject of our deeply unsustainable use of materials weighs heavily on her mind. To get the rest of us thinking about it too, she cut up and shaped thousands of plastic bottles and arranged them to resemble karst formations.
We haven’t been able to lay eyes on the project ourselves, but word on the street has it that the cave environment, despite being situated among busy London, feels complete. It’s dark and cool in the corridor, and the chiseled plastic bottles are convincing as stalactites and stalagmites. Albeit beautiful and well-executed, this is a somber installation that reminds us how much work needs to be done to clean up the planet.