In the North Pacific Ocean there are areas where plastic debris accumulates as a result of global ocean currents. The garbage, which sits just under the surface of the water, is estimated to cover an area roughly the size of France.
Debris in the Pacific Ocean
This man-made plastic debris is not biodegradable. It’s consumed, with tragic results, by sea birds, fish, and marine mammals and it does not belong in our oceans.
In 2009, Foekje Fleur van Duin was studying art in the Netherlands when she read an article about this ever-accumulating mass of plastic. The debris finds its way to the North Pacific comes from all over the world, including from the Netherlands. What she learned inspired her to go down to the Maas River near Rotterdam where she found all kinds of plastic objects from toys to detergent bottles.
She collected several pieces which, after years of floating around in the water, had lost their identities as cleaning detergent and shampoo bottles. Although their shapes remained beautiful in some cases, their colours had faded into soft tones.
Bottles collected by Foekje from the Maas River
Some of the pieces that Foekje collected in the Maas River became the molds for her “bottle vases”, a collection of fine porcelain containers created to spread awareness about the marine pollution caused by plastic.
van Duin’s “bottle vases” at Galerie CO
This week for the blog, Foekje was good enough to complete our version of the Proust questionnaire. It’s nice to get to know her a little better and to introduce you to the sun-faded pastels of her “bottle vases”, which make up a perfect spring colour palette while at the same time delivering a strong message about our stewardship of this planet.
Galerie CO: What is your current state of mind?
Galerie CO: What does sustainability mean to you?
Foekje Fleur: Consumption being positive to the environment.
Galerie CO: What was your first artistic creation?
Foekje: Playdough plants.
Foekje and her playdough plants
Galerie CO: What kind of weather makes you feel the most creative?
Galerie CO: What keeps you busy when you’re not working/designing/creating?
Foekje: Veggie food.
Galerie CO: What is your favourite meal?
Foekje: Vegan burgers, for example this recipe for quinoa burgers.
Galerie CO: What is your most treasured possession?
Foekje: My boyfriend Marcel.
Galerie CO: Who is your favourite designer?
Foekje: Nathalie Lété.
Nathalie Lété. We love her too; see some of her work here.
Galerie CO: What do you most value in your friends?
Foekje: Enthusiasm and humour.
Galerie CO: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Foekje: Working outside with great weather.
Foekje working in the Chinese sun.
Galerie CO: What is your greatest extravagance?
Foekje: A pair of new Nike running shoes.
Galerie CO: What is your favourite city?
Foekje: I can’t choose, I have a hard time making choices!
Galerie CO: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Foekje: A Dutch word ‘leuk’, which means something like ‘nice’. Everything should always be so leuk….
Galerie CO: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Foekje: To lose my extreme anxiety of blood and pain.
Galerie CO: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Foekje: My driver’s license. I seriously doubted whether I could get it. It’s funny because I got it just after graduating cum laude from art-school, which should seem like my greatest achievement, but which which somehow didn’t impress me too much!
Galerie CO: What is your motto?
Foekje: Sharing is caring.
Galerie CO: What is your favourite work of art?
Foekje: “Acrobat and Young Harlequin” by Pablo Picasso (1905).
“Acrobat and Young Harlequin”, Pablo Picasso
Galerie CO: Apart from your work, what is your favourite item at CO?
Foekje: Ryan Frank’s “Enzo” stools. They are smart and well designed.
For more information on Foekje Fleur van Duin’s bottle vases, click here.