Angela van Boxtel’s Recycled Fashion & Design
Monday 8th June is World Oceans Day and what better way in the lead up to the day that celebrates the greatest mass on our planet than talking to the people who dedicate their lives to protecting it.
Angela van Boxtel is an Eco Artist and Designer, creating are that is sustainable or sustains the planet in it’s current form. Over the last year she’s hit the headlines with her amazing crocheted recycled plastic swimwear (Top picture) and installation art that is beautiful and intricate in design.
Angela grew up on a farm in the Netherlands and was raised on values of living in harmony with nature. Now living in Manly, Australia, her art has moved to a whole new level thanks to the beautiful surroundings of the beaches, bushland and headlands. She has become an ocean swimmer and spends a lot of time out in the big blue training and competing and says it was not hard figuring out where the spark for her new level art came from. She says “I’m interested in educating people about the plastic pollution in our oceans but doing it in a fun, entertaining and enticing way.”
As a passionate ocean swimmer, she swim long distances in the ocean almost daily and travelled to many amazing places to do long distance swims. She says “It’s here where my deep love for the ocean grows and intensifies every day. YOU have to be out there in the ocean to be able to understand it and wanting to protect it. It’s for a reason one of the biggest pro environmentalists caring for our oceans are those who spents lots of time in this vast mysterious place. I just think in a past life I’ve must have been a mermaid.”
So what do you do when your heart lies in the ocean and your creative soul searches for an outlet? You take the waste and make it great! That’s exactly what Angela does.
[blockquote type=”3″ author=”Angela”]For me ‘waste’ is not waste but precious resources. I always say if you look at ‘waste’ long enough you eventually will come up with an idea to create something from it. Lots of my art & designs are inspired by the materials I find for free around the ocean. Such as broken surfboards, plastic bottle caps, plastic bags but also lots of waste textiles (as the latter comes with living in a trendy fashion beach suburb such as Manly).[/blockquote]
The most important message Angela is that she tries to portray that that beauty is in anything even so called ‘waste’. “I know no one looks at waste in the same way ever again once they have seen my art pieces or designs. They can’t no longer ignore that this is not waste but a material which can be used to create.” She has found a passion in teaching people that, eventually by being so consumer driven we are polluting our planet big time and all our waste ends up somewhere.
She says “Many human beings don’t seem to make that connection, they don’t consider them part of a one planet, one world. A simple life has so much beauty as the best things in life are for free and that mostly refers to the stunning gifts of nature ‘our planet’ as a whole.”
Angela loves to use many different kinds of wast for her designs but is currently focussing on plastic bags as we shift our thinking away from needing them for shopping. She says “I love to contribute to being part of a shift on this planet in having them banned. Single use plastics such as these bags are such a waste they are totally unnecessary. They are also terrible for our environment and living creatures. Turtles think these bags are jelly fish and ingest them.”
Since seeing seen her first turtle this year while swimming in the ocean in Manly, Angela has become overly passionate about protecting this magical creatures and raising awareness of the issue of plastic pollution. She also traumatically witnessed the death of a dolphin at Curl Curl beach on the Northern Beaches which had a grey plastic shopping bag in his intestines. She says “It’s so sad to see this it really pulls on your heart strings. I never take it for granted not even one day to be feeling so enormously blessed to be able to live in such a wondrous place which such amazing nature on my doorstep. I just want to stand up for it and give it a voice through my art and designs.”
Eco Art & Design Angela van Boxtel