The Earth Poetica project

Over 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, was close to overflowing with wrappers, cartons, bottles and bags from Israel and overseas. As more people heard about her installation, boxes of plastic waste were arriving on her doorstep.

«I was haunted by the images that I saw on a television documentary about plastic waste,» says Barkat. «There were impoverished children searching for ‘treasure’ among piles of plastic waste on the beach. The image was so strong and has stayed with me. Is this the beautiful earth that we are leaving for our children? Is this our legacy – planet Earth covered by plastic waste? Plastic pollution is one of the most critical problems we face today. As an artist, I express my emotions and views visually. I wanted to make the beauty of planet Earth visible while at the same time showing very clearly the problem for which we are all responsible.»

Earth Poetica is both personal and collective aesthetic questioning by the artist about our present and future time on planet Earth. According to Dr. Raffaella Frascarelli, Director of Nomas Foundation:

«Earth Poetica is a timely artistic response to the global issue of plastic pollution. It is a contemporary artwork of an immense aesthetic value, which can, however, also be understood as a ‘site of moral agency’, as an invitation towards reflection and towards different acts in the present and future.»

Beverly Barkat in her studio, with Earth Poetica project in progress. Photo Courtesy of Amit Elkayam.
Beverly Barkat working on Earth Poetica in her studio in Jerusalem. Photo Courtesy of Amit Elkayam.
Artist with part of Earth Poetica. Photo Courtesy of Amit Elkayam.
Earth Poetica, detail. Photo Courtesy of Tor Ben Mayor.