Claire Hopwood

Master of Fine Art

Contact student

NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.

‘Plastic Earth’ was inspired by two main areas of interest: the surfaces I walked upon whilst taking my regular walk through the fields near to where I live; and the degraded surfaces of man-made structures. I am someone who feels more at home in the natural environment and feel saddened when mankind negatively effects nature, so seeing nature reclaim that which man has imposed on her gives me joy. Using this inspiration as a starting point I wanted to explore materials that would somehow connect with these themes. 

Fusing plastic waste together creates a highly textured, organic surface, which resonated with the surfaces and textures I saw whilst out walking. I rub paint into these surfaces and then scrape areas away, revealing the creases and crevices of the plastic underneath. When viewed from a distance the work looks topographical but, as you move in close to examine the details of the work, it transforms into beautiful puddles of decaying detritus. 

The large-scale piece in this exhibition ‘Plastic Earth’ reveals the process of transforming plastic waste into an art work. When looking at this piece I am asking the viewer to reflect on the process of making, which for me, is my art. The object itself is merely a physical manifestation of where I am at this particular stage of my journey. 

In making this work I am exploring my own relationship to the earth and its materials. Like many of you, I hate to see our world suffocating in the waste produced by humans; the only species to leave such a damaging footprint. So in viewing this work, I ask you to question your own relationship with our Earth and its diminishing resources.