Artists draw from their environment to create: from wood, bones, and pigments during prehistory, to synthetic materials and even waste nowadays. Cicia Hartmann is one such person: she transforms plastic waste into flowery, animalistic, and decorative artworks.
Cicia Hartmann is specialised in recycling. Formerly a painter, she once realised during her travels around the world that she could not find anything to work with in Asia. Furthermore, the self-taught artist witnessed entire regions where waste was never sorted for recycling, or even picked up. She therefore undertook to collect bottle caps, plastic bags and boxes, which she then reworked into dolls, lamps, flowers, cars, and other toys. Children in developing parts of the world welcomed her with open arms, and so did others living in developed countries.
Her best-known works are the floral compositions she creates with plastic bottle caps. She recently used 20 000 to build a 5 square-metre “green wall”, drawing inspiration from real-life plants as well as imaginary flowers. The wall was created within a Parisian mall during a ten-day exhibit to raise people’s awareness of plastic pollution and incite them to change their behaviour.
Cicia Hartmann also hosts creative workshops themed around recycling in schools. Through her actions, she aims to call out to people and make them react. One example she uses is the fact that a bottle cap discarded in nature can either take up to a thousand years to degrade, or be recycled into a work of art.