1 of 3
Old man of the Sea. 2008.
The first in the series. Predominantly blue as this was the most common coloured bin liner.
2 of 3
Made from the leftovers from other paintings
3 of 3
Meg (I can see that we are gonna be friends.) 2011.
Made with red bin-liners plus some of the aforementioned Paris pink.
Plastic is making an impact on the world of art, thanks to one man’s creativity.
Glenn West, an artist originally from the UK and now living in Germany, creates his modern plastic pictures using melted polyethylene bin liners and has been invited to exhibit three of his pieces at an upcoming art exhibition in London.
“I started using plastic as a painting material because I was dissatisfied with the more traditional mediums,” West told BP&R. “It seems to me that artists have exhausted the possibilities of oil paint. My time is better spent experimenting with a modern material in a modern way. Art is about creativity after all, so I melt bin-liners.”
West said he has found sourcing polyethylene in colours outside of black the most interesting part of his venture, with the coloured plastic used in the pieces found on his travels across Europe.
“My earliest foray in using plastic was at Liverpool art school, where, much to the despair of the cleaning staff, I used to go early and nick the bin liners. Unfortunately these were just black,” he commented.
“It wasn't until a couple of years ago and relocating to Germany that I found more colours. Over here they use blue, red, yellow and green polyethylene. Other colours I picked up randomly where I could find them. For example, I flew back from Paris with a suitcase full of pink shopping bags from the local Supermarche.”
West explained that the more pieces he creates, the more refined his technique becomes, with the art bearing an ever-more similar resemblance to oil-based paintings.
“The next step is trying to work with a polyethylene manufacturer to look into a broader range of colours and a more stable plastic that can better handle UV rays,” he continued. “I am finding that some colours are fading when exposed to strong sunlight. As you can imagine I don't want people to spend money on a painting that slowly vanishes.”
Three of Glenn West’s large plastic paintings will be on display at the upcoming Zealous X Art Exhibition in London from Fri 29 November to Sun 01 December 2013, an event designed to celebrate and showcase the best UK creative talent from across the arts sector.
“This is the first time that my polyethylene artwork will be shown in England and I hope to show that plastic can also be used to make beautiful things,” West concluded.
More information can be found about the art exhibition by clicking here.