One of the murals by Cheeky Observer for the virtual Museum of Plastic.
One of the murals by Cheeky Observer for the virtual Museum of Plastic.

World’s first-ever virtual Museum of Plastic launched

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Nov 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Taking a look at 2021, a collaboration between South Africa and the UK launched the world’s first-ever virtual Museum of Plastic at COP26 this week to drive awareness and deliver a hopeful peek through art, science and digital technology into what life could look like if meaningful strides were taken to curb climate change now.

Local urban art non-profit organisation Baz-Art, together with eco-activist organisation Greenpop in Cape Town and Cooperative Innovations in the UK were commissioned by the British Council to create artwork for the virtual museum.

The museum showcases artwork by six South African mural artists that were each asked to paint real-world plastic-pollution-themed murals, which was then digitally inserted into the Museum of Plastic on the Curatours platform.

The artists include Cheeky Observer, Ellena Lourens, Dirty Native, Silas Ras Moetse, Wayne BKS, and Mernette Swartz.

“The virtual museum is set in the future, looking back on a version of the present where we decide to ban single-use plastics and manage to curb climate destruction. Visitors can uncover the story of plastic – its history, science, industry, and impact on our environment.

“They will learn the importance of establishing a circular economy and find out how activism and individual action happening now will lead to positive change in the future,” said the Cooperative Innovations, Greenpop and Baz-Art team.

Baz-Art co-founder Alexandre Tilmans said: “Throughout history, art has been a powerful medium to communicate a message and change the world. We’re hoping that this experience engages a global audience and shows people that we can change our future if we act now.”

Cooperative Innovations project lead Emma Cooper said: “Combining pixels and paint, the physical with the virtual has produced amazing results. When we demonstrated the project to the public for the first time, the one thing everyone mentioned was how much they loved the ability to move around the 3D paintings.”

“A project this size cannot be done alone, hence the collaboration between experts in their field, technologists in the UK, environmental activists and artists and storytellers from SA, and collaboration for information across several universities,” added Tilmans.

Those interested in visiting the Museum of Plastic 2121 can download the Curatours app, which is available for Oculus Quest VR headsets and Windows PCs.

Download links could be find on https://baz-art.co.za/highlights/projects/museum-of-plastic/

One of the murals by Cheeky Observer for the virtual Museum of Plastic.

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