Trash artwork on display at Argo
An artwork made from trash washed up on beaches went on display at a major international sailing race.
The piece, finished yesterday by artist Meredith Andrews, was created for the Argo Group Gold Cup final on Saturday to highlight pollution of the seas.
Gary Grose, president of Colony Specialty, a subsidiary of insurance giant Argo, said: “The pollution in our oceans is a very big topic globally.
“Through our sponsorships we realise this consistent theme of getting the ocean clean was something everybody was talking about.
He said Argo promoted sustainability in its operations and realised ocean pollution was a problem it could help to tackle.
The trash used for the artwork was collected by Argo staff at a beach clean-up at Astwood Cove last week.
Mr Grose said: “Every step counts, whether it is something you do in your homes or whether it is something you do in your office, or something you do as a community. This was one of our steps as a community to bring our employees together and clean up a beach and make art out of something that people don't think of.”
Ms Andrews's work, based on a photo taken during the Gold Cup last year, will be put on show at Argo's Bermuda office after Saturday's unveiling.
Mr Grose said Argo wanted to inspire people to play their part in cleaning up the shoreline.
He said: “If you are at the beach and you are picking up a few things while you are there, that is something we are pushing.”
Mr Grose added that the Argo team had no difficulty in collecting a large amount of trash at Astwood Cove.
Environmental experts have estimated there will be more plastic waste than fish in the world's seas by 2050.
Mr Grose said: “Even if you are not near the ocean, it affects the food you eat from the ocean.”
Ms Andrews said: “It's a fantastic opportunity that Argo has given me to create work from collected ocean plastic.”
Bottle caps, deodorant bottles, glowsticks, ropes and an old motorbike were among the discarded waste found by the Argo team.
Ms Andrews said the waste they collected was similar to trash she had collected in the past to create art.
She said a large percentage of the trash originated with the fishing industry.
Ms Andrews said: “I'm not trying to vilify the fishermen but a lot of it comes from fishing.”
She added: “Anything that we use that is made out of plastic is washing up.“
Ms Andrews explained that the items found were sorted by colour and washed before she used them.
She said Bermuda had a part to play in keeping the seas clean but that the vast majority of the waste washed up on the island had come from elsewhere.
Ms Andrews explained that she had found bottles not used in Bermuda and that could be identified as coming from other countries.
The Argo group also made a cash donation of $5,000 to environmental charity Keep Bermuda Beautiful.