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August Eco-Artist: Janet, Curb Beach Plastic

Curb Beach Plastic - Shark Guardian Interview Questions

Q1. Hi, Janet – We’re thrilled to have you as our Eco Artist of the Month for August! Tell us a bit about yourself for those who are not familiar with your work.

Thanks so much for having me as you Eco-Artist this month. I am an environmental artist from Kommetjie, which is a coastal town on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. I grew up with my family not far from where I live now. Growing up I spent a lot of time sailing; my weekends and holidays were spent doing that and hanging out on the beach with my friends. I count myself lucky to still live near the ocean with my husband and two young boys.

Q2. When did you get started as an artist?

I have always loved to draw and paint. I think perhaps something I was inspired to do from my grandfather who loved to paint himself. In high school I realized that I enjoyed art a lot more than academics and decided to go to Art College in Cape Town where I finished with a commercial matric. After college I worked for a boat charter company for 10 years. I then started my own wooden word wall art business and it has kept me very busy for the past 10 years. It was in late 2018 though that I decided to start making art from the trash I was collecting off the beaches. I think it was only in the year to follow that I felt like art was going to be a real part of my life.

Q3. Was there one particular visit to the beach that inspired you to start Curb Beach Plastic? Or did it evolve over a longer period of time?

I don’t think there was one particular visit that made me decide to start. Over the past few years, I definitely started noticing more and more rubbish on our beaches.

I then realized that there are many people globally using beach plastic as a medium to create amazing art to help create awareness. I really related to this way of creating something visual that would have an impact on people.

Q4. What’s the strangest thing you have found on a beach clean that you have turned into art?

I can’t think of one thing that was particularly strange. I do however have a favorite piece of plastic that I found in 2019 which says the word “art” on it. One day when I have some money to spend on myself again, I would love to have a jeweler set it for me as bracelet or pendant perhaps.