Art project

We are confronted today by plastic pandemic of such magnitude that our very survival is at stake. Our fragile relationship with nature has reached a tipping point, necessitating action. The outbreak of the global Covid-19 epidemic has made us even more acutely aware of our both vulnerability and interconnectedness. Is it possible to see a correlation between the plastic pandemic and Covid-19? Both are part of our interlinked, viral age, founded upon globalization and urbanization and threatened by climate change.

Artist Beverly Barkat (b. 1966, Johannesburg, living and working in Jerusalem) reflects on the vitality and complexity of these concerns through her own artistic journey, reimagining the planet Earth as a massive biosphere made of plastic waste, collected from all over the world. From a distance Barkat’s ‘Earth’ appears to be a realistic interpretation of our living planet with its vast blue oceans, cultivated green lands, golden deserts and glistening white Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets; closer inspection reveals that our natural habitat has been turned into a plastic dump of our own making. With her work, Barkat tries to create a dialogue between nature and the human race living in symbiosis with one another. Nature will retaliate by destroying humans, humans will not destroy nature.

Earth from Space: Kamchatka Peninsula. Photo Courtesy of The European Space Agency.

The Earth Poetica project

Over the past three years, Beverly Barkat has been picking up plastic litter from home, bringing it back from trips abroad, urging her family and friends to be attentive as to what is placed around them and asking them to send their plastic waste to her. Barkat’s studio, located in downtown Jerusalem, has been close… Read more »

Beverly Barkat working on the Earth Poetica project in her studio in Jerusalem. Photo Courtesy of Tor Ben Mayor.

Beverly Barkat

Beverly Barkat was born in Johannesburg in 1966, moving to Israel with her family in 1976 where she graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Initially her preferred media were clay, metal, and glass but participation in a masterclass led by Israel Hershberg at the Jerusalem Studio School inspired a shift… Read more »

Sea life contaminated by plastic waste. Photo Courtesy of Saeed Rashid.

Plastic pandemic

The plastic pandemic has triggered of Barkat’s exploration of the plastic waste problem and its outcomes. The research has shown our self created catastrophe observed on beaches around the globe, oceans filling up with particles of plastic waste and the wild life suffocating and disappearing because of our own doing. Ocean currents transfer plastic waste… Read more »