Heath Nash, a South African artist, makes superb lamps from recycled plastic bottles and caps. His work combines high-end design and traditional craft.
In 2005 when Heath Nash started making objects from recycled plastics bottles, he was looking to develop a national identity based on local talents. “I had met Richard Mandongwe, an artist who sold incredible flowers made from old plastic bottles and wire. I was immediately inspired by recycling as a creative means. I had just found a new direction.”
A great lover of origami, painting and engraving from childhood, Nash took his time in developing his technique. With the help of his team he collects plastic bottles, sorts them, washes them with bio-degradable detergents, and cuts each bottle in the shape of a semi-flat leaf. Flowers are then cut and flattened by hand before being mounted on frames made of galvanized steel wire, typical of the area. This is how the series “Other People’s Rubbish” began.
“By reusing materials, I tell myself that I am not only reducing waste, I am also avoiding creating new ones. I also like the idea of making luxury products which are not part of the widespread ‘use and discard’ culture,” says Heath Nash, before adding that his work has helped to make the largely uninformed South African public more aware of the need to recycle. This philosophy has been crucial to the artist who wished to remain in South Africa, a country hard-hit by unemployment.