An Illuminated 'Plastic Island' Floats in London's Trafalgar Square

Images courtesy the artist

When the Lumiere Festival decked London out with a menagerie of otherworldly light art, Spanish illumination activists Luzinterruptus took over the iconic Trafalgar Square fountain to deliver a message of environmental awareness. Their Plastic Island series, previously seen in Portugal, recalls images of the Great Pacific garbage patch in order to advocate for more responsible plastic use and disposal.

The latest incarnation of Plastic Island is a sea of 13,000 bottles gathered from around London, floating in the middle ring of the fountain that witnessed Bloody Sunday, the 2011 anti-budget protests, a march against climate change, and countless other acts of assembly and protest. "We could not say no," Luzinterruptus tells The Creators Project. "Intervening such an emblematic place would help us to better spread our message."

The Great Pacific garbage patch is one of the most visual and present symbols of human disregard for the environment available to artists. It has inspired zoetropes, conceptual sculptures, and now two installations from Luzinterruptus. "Governments remain passive before this situation either because they lack interest or because they are incapable to solve this problem," the group says. "They are allowing this huge mass of 4 million tons of crushed plastic to shape 13,794 miles of irregular surface reaching 98 feet under the water, destroying most of the marine wildlife in the area and transforming the ecosystem.”

Plastic Island represents human ugliness and irresponsibility, it is aesthetically gorgeous and its creation rescued thousands of recyclables from trash bins around the city. The installation ran from January 14 to 17, complimenting Hans Haacke's spectral horse skeleton sculpture.

See more of Luzinterruptus' work on their website.

Related:

Controversial Skeleton Horse Rides into London

A Glowing Island of Plastic Highlights Pollution in Portugal

Pinar Yoldas Imagines Future Life Inside the Pacific Trash Vortex

Photographer Captures the Surprising Humanity of Garbage