The recycling efforts of WA students played a starring role in one of the most popular artworks at this year’s Sculpture by the Sea.
Local artist Deanne Neilson took out the Kids’ Choice Prize for the 2023 edition of the Cottesloe event with her sculpture, Do you Realize??.
The stunning 6 m tall sculpture was made of 50,000 recycled bottle lids, most of which were donated to Ms Neilson by Bottle Top Hill.
Bottle Top Hill is a community organisation that recycles or repurposes items that would otherwise go to landfill. Students at a number of WA schools collected bottle tops, which were delivered to Bottle Top Hill and ended up in the sculpture.
One of those schools was the East Victoria Park Education Support Centre, whose students enjoyed an excursion to Cottesloe to see the artwork.
The tactile tour allowed them to touch the sculpture and feel differences in lid sizes and textures.
“They were really happy because they were familiar with that sort of thing,” Teacher Tatiana Marcondes said.
“It was a beautiful excursion.”
Ms Marcondes has been leading tactile tours for three years and has long collaborated with Bottle Top Hill.
She said students reused items like bottle tops and bread tags and spoke a lot about sustainability. They use the items in their class for STEM projects as well as creating mosaics and other art.
“It helps them to understand how important it is to recycle and how they can be included,” she said.
“(When we) recycle, look how beautiful things can be done.
“They can recognise where the lids come from, and the different types of lids used in the sculpture.”
Ms Neilson said Do you Realize?? was made with accessibility in mind.
“Different types of lids, such as pop tops, were used to create a different texture so that visually impaired people could enjoy the art and feel the edges of the wave,” she said in her artist statement.
“The pop top lids also open and close, creating an interactive element.”