Mar Vista artist Marina DeBris has been picking up trash along Westside beaches and creeks for over 13 years. Trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, she has won numerous awards and her work has been exhibited in juried shows in Los Angeles, New York and throughout California.
August is Ocean Awareness month and the ZeroMinusPlu/Fred Segal store in Santa Monica is currently holding an exhibit of DeBris' work entitled Beach Couture - A Trash ‘n Fashion Show, which will run through Sept. 5.
On Aug. 25, DeBris will be on hand at the store between 6 and 9 p.m. to take part in a benefit and fundraiser benefiting 5 Gyres. DeBris regularly lends her talents to Heal the Bay, Friends of Ballona, Sustainable Works and other environmental groups.
“With this work, I’m hoping to dramatize in a playful way some of the problems our waste creates,” DeBris stated in a press release. “I use humor to startle viewers into taking a closer look at things we usually ignore. The goal is to encourage people to rethink their use of disposables and ultimately reduce waste.”
DeBris said she started taking an interest in recycling 13 years ago when she moved from Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia to Los Angeles.
“In the beginning I would just pick up stacks of Styrofoam cups and bring them to the local 7-11, but I soon realized that this wasn’t really attacking the root problem. I needed a creative way to draw attention to it. The whole idea of making beach detritus into art started just three years ago from the realization that the waste we create always comes back to haunt us.”
Over the last three years DeBris' work has been used by Anna Cummins from 5 Gyres and Leslie Tamminen from the Clean Seas Coalition. DeBris produced a series of postcards for the Clean Seas Coalition urging local politicians to pass bills like the “Leash your Lid Law,” which would require manufacturers to permanently attach caps to bottles with some sort of “leash.” She has also been a huge supporter of AB 1998, which bans single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and large convenience retailers.
As for her art, DeBris stated in the release, “My first goal is to provoke viewers into thinking about the consequences of our habits and how we can change them. My second goal is to get rid of all the garbage in my garage! In a responsible way, of course.”
Marina DeBris' art will be on view at ZeroMinusPlus/Fred Segal Santa Monica in celebration of Ocean Awareness Month from Aug. 2 - Sept. 5, 500 Broadway, Santa Monica CA.
Hours: Mon-Sat 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. & Sun 12-6 p.m.
There will be a fundraising event benefiting 5 Gyres on Thursday, August 25 at ZeroMinusPlus from 6-9 p.m. and the City of Santa Monica will be giving out free reusable bags made by local veterans.
For more information and to see more of DeBris' work click here