Seeing the mountains of plastic waste in landfills and ocean, he knew he had to do something. Those landfills and oceans, he realized, are the same landfills and oceans his children and their children will inherit.
“We only have one Earth, one life,” he said. “Everything is interconnected; a simple decision that you make will influence or affect other persons.”
The simple act of throwing a piece of plastic candy wrapper or shampoo sachet, Angeles said, was not as minor as they seem to be because they are the very small things that contribute to the big problem.
“A wrong decision can lead to destruction.”
The Philippines ranks third in the world’s biggest plastic polluter, generating 2.7 million metric tons every year, according to a 2017 report by the Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Development.
Despite the country’s high garbage collection rate, a 2018 report by the World Wide Fund revealed up to 74 percent of plastic that ends up in the ocean is from the waste already collected.
While he “was looking for a perfect medium” for himself, he had a eureka moment: “If you’re doing something, make sure you’re solving a problem.”
Creativity, resourcefulness, and a genuine concern for the environment led the Bulacan-based artist to ask friends and neighbors for their plastic waste, “anything out of value.”
But there was a small problem in using the collected waste as medium. “Depending on the space and structure of the products, we found the art limiting.”
That was when he got connected with Green Antz Builders, a building solutions provider that collects plastic waste and transforms it into construction products such as eco bricks.
Waste collected from Angeles’ studio is turned over to Green Antz for shredding, allowing the self-avowed “green artist” to mix the shredded single-use plastic waste with leftover acrylic paints resulting in what he calls the “eco paint.”
In 2019, Green Artz was born to create “awareness of the harmful effects of post-consumer waste through art.”
“We treat waste as a resource. From waste, we create something of value,” shared the University of Santo Tomas fine arts graduate. “Eco painting is a tangible example of creating something of value from waste. By doing this, it reminds us to be more responsible in throwing our waste.”
Angeles has since then created several artwork made using this medium, while actively sharing the process to encourage others to try and create something out of what could have ended up in landfills and ocean.
During his demonstration at Conrad Manila, as part of his ongoing exhibit at Gallery C until May 9, he showed how to make an eco painting: On a canvas, he first applied a binder (glue) then added the shredded plastic. He painted over the plastic (alternative method is mixing the shreds and paints beforehand) and let the canvas dry.
The “Of Art and Wine: New Earth, New Life, New Hope” exhibit showcases Angeles’ 23 eco paintings. According to the hotel, some of his canvases are also made of used wooden panels recovered from construction sites.
“‘New Earth, New Life, New Hope’ celebrates life and nature, which is echoed by Conrad Manila through our Travel With Purpose corporate
social responsibility campaign which we share with our guests and team members,” said Conrad Manila general manager Linda Pecoraro.
SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation (SMHCC) executive consultant Nes Jardin seconded, “I’m excited about this exhibit because it promotes Conrad Manila’s sustainable practice in hotel management.”
For her part, SMHCC president Elizabeth Sy lauded the efforts of everyone involved in the show, “I congratulate and thank Gilbert Angeles, Green Artz, and Conrad Manila for showcasing how sustainable art can be a tool for environmental preservation.”
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.