Presentation by pupils from Middenschool Brugge Centrum

A presentation at the DLAB multiplier event by pupils of Middenschool Brugge Centrum (5th May 2022)

Presentation here:

DLAB project presentation by pupils MSCB

opening slide of presentation

Text below:

This school year, we were allowed to participate in a DLAB. This international project has been running at our school for some time, but for our class it was new. We were excited and happy that we could participate in this great project.

The central theme this year was ‘Breaking environmental boundaries’. We worked together with classes from Spain and Denmark. On the basis of some cryptic descriptions, we were divided into two different groups. Group 1 was mainly concerned with waste in the streets of Bruges and turning waste into art. Then we had group 2. They were mainly occupied with food waste and turning food leftovers into a tasty meal.

Waste, and especially the amount of waste that is carelessly left behind everywhere, is a big problem. That is why, on our first project day, we set out in five groups to collect waste in the city centre of Bruges and we found an enormous amount of waste. We didn’t just go out and collect trash in the city centre. Everyone had to follow a different route. We used the app Strava for this. Each route formed one letter of the word ‘TRASH’. From the collected waste, we chose one piece of waste about which we wrote a story in the app Bookcreator. Our story was about the consequences of smoking. With the other waste, we wanted to make a work of art with a message.

To get inspiration for this, we visited the exhibition of Cindy Wright. She is a Belgian artist who is very concerned about the environment and sustainability. For her paintings, she collects objects with which she makes a creation. She photographs this creation, after which the photos are greatly enlarged. In this way, she can paint in great detail, which makes her works seem true to life.  During a walk in the woods, she collected various materials, such as moss, leaves and wood. Unfortunately, she also found plastic caps from drinks bottles and other waste, as you can see in the painting.

We found it a very interesting exhibition. Her work really came through. It was even almost shocking. You can see in her work that she truly empathises with nature, and that is of course wonderful.

We were inspired by the work ‘Big Wave’. Cindy Wright brilliantly interprets Hokusai’s Great Wave of Kanagawa.  Using a plastic supermarket bag, skilfully folded and elegantly draped in just the right way, she imitates the movement of the wave, addressing the invasion of plastic in our consumer habits and the carelessness with which we deal with plastic waste.  We are literally being overwhelmed by plastic, and the mountain of waste is enormous. The beauty in her work betrays the ugliness of our society. Maybe one day the oceans will disappear completely under a gigantic layer of plastic. Or maybe this ugly plastic will make us realise that there is no substitute for the extraordinary beauty of our oceans. A beautiful or a frightening image? That is for the viewer to decide. We saw a strong message in the artwork and we wanted the same in our artwork.

So we went to work. Cindy Wright’s artwork was our baseline. With the rubbish we collected on day 1, we went to work. After some brainstorming, we came up with the idea of making the same phenomenal wave. But not only that, we wanted the wave to overwhelm a sailing ship. The message behind our artwork is very simple yet important. Nature wants to punish mankind, because people are only destroying the earth. The earth does this by dragging a sailing ship into the ocean with a wave.

These are 3 works of art with more or less the same important message. We must do something to save nature. We have to stop saying that there is something wrong with nature. We have to do something about it. and that is our message.

You can find the whole DLAB project on the app Thinglink . You can find our routes, photos of the collected waste, the locations where we found waste, our waste artworks, videos with extra information, our BookCreator stories… In short: you can relive our whole DLAB year there. Hopefully you will find the time to take a look. Thanks for listening.

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