Cape Cod artist recycles plastic for art for exhibition ‘Hope Is Not Passive’ – CBS Boston

CHATHAM (CBS) – From garbage to treasure, a local photographer and artist from Cape Cod has collected plastic along our coast and turned it into stunning works of art. Sarah Thornington is the marine waste artist who has a new exhibition currently on display to raise awareness about disposable plastic.

“This is Hope, she was made for this show, so I gave her the name Hope,” Sarah Thornington points out, holding a picture of her artwork.

Hope is an Atlantic parrot, and with a declining population is considered a vulnerable species.

“She’s made of zippers and children’s buckets, shovels and there are even her eyes made of a wheel from a small toy car, straps and bottle caps and all sorts of things,” Thornington explained.

Thornington is a Cape Cod portrait photographer and artist. Her new art exhibition is called Hope is Not Passive. Most of the things are made from the washed up plastic waste or toys, or even shoes she found on the beach.

“I had so much waste that I was just horrified. So I thought to myself, I have to do an actual project,” Thornington said.

She had decided to do a beach cleanup every day for a year. A challenge that would soon be overcome faster than she had imagined.

“I decided I would pick up five pieces of plastic a day, after nine days I collected the equivalent of the nearly 2,000 pieces I would have picked up if I had only picked up five pieces a day,” Thornington said.

She has continued to set new goals and pick up trash.

“At the end of the year, I ended up picking up 21,000 pieces of plastic.”

From there, she cleaned them, sorted them in her basement, and was inspired to give these little treasures a new life.

“So I started creating art, taking pictures and having shows, just to spread awareness,” Thornington explained. “In order for us to get the changes, see the changes we want, we have to go out there and do something about it. So hope is not passive, it’s going to take us all. “

In honor of Earth Month, her art has been exhibited at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell. There are also a number of pieces at the Shark Center in Chatham.

“At the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, which has both my art and pictures and also a collection of trash and various things aimed at families and some practical things,” Thornington tells WBZ.

When she sees her artwork, Sarah hopes you will learn a little about disposable plastic and in return be more aware of the space and environment around us. More of her work can be found at and her Instagram @studiobysea.

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