The piece I have created for this exhibition aims to explore the issue of human impact on the environment through our habits of consumption and the idea of disposability in objects, while also offering a visual reflection of my personal observations and experiences in Costa Rica.
Awareness seems to be growing around how our ways of over-consuming and overproducing are negatively impacting the earth, and how the remnants of our disposable culture are piling up beyond reason. The question of why and how we assign value to some objects and see others as disposable became a driving thought in the ideation of this piece, which hopes to allow the viewer to ponder their own habits of consumption and their relationship to object and environment.
Using discarded single-use items from my household as material, I turned these items into a backdrop for my visual reflections of Costa Rica and its abundant and beautiful natural elements. I painted these objects in vibrant pink, yellow, and greenish-blue, which I observed to be used often in Costa Rica, and which reflect my personal experience of the country’s sunlight, oceans, and warmth. This process changed the context and meaning of these objects, and altered my perception of their disposability. In this way, the piece asks us to consider what makes an object valuable to us, to ponder our connection to the “disposable” objects we come into contact with on a daily basis, and to question our role and responsibilities in the life-cycle of these items.
Sunday again, a very quiet day here in Quepos. But for us students, it was a day of work and focus. We’re in crunch mode now, with lots to get done before our final presentation to the community on Wednesday.
Our group met this morning to make sure everyone is on the right track and clear on what has to be done. We then got to work and spent most of the day trying to complete our tasks, in order to turn all of our research from last week into a cohesive solution.
Taking a break for lunch, Zaiah and I made the trek to the marina to find sushi. Most places in town were closed since – again – it was Sunday, a day of rest in this place. The walk there gave us a nice break from the hostel, and the beach of Quepos looked very inviting today. We saw people surfing, fishing, and just enjoying the water.
Back at the hostel, there was more work to be done – creating sketches, icons, mock-ups, and smoothing out the logistics of our plan.
For dinner we went to a great little place called “Smoked to Go.” There was just about enough room for us to all squeeze in there, and the food was delicious.
There is still a lot to do, but after some good focus today, I’m sure the next few days will be fruitful. Somehow, some way, all our hard work might just come together.
After breakfast and some rest time this morning, we headed to El Cocal to check out the Kite Festival (Festival Del Papalote) being held there today.
Upon arriving in El Cocal, we took off in groups by taxi to get to the end of the road, so that we could get a better sense of the size of the community. The walk back gave us some good perspective, as we got to see how the community feel changes and the houses become more spread out the farther you get from the docks. Some of us noted how this must affect the way services and information reach the area, with the distance making community engagement on that end more of a potential challenge.
Back near the community centre, the kite festival was in full swing and oozing with life and laughter, with colourful kites in the sky and lots of happy people on the beach. Visitors and locals were spending a lovely day in the sun together, with plenty of food, music, and activities to enjoy.
Games had been organized to entertain the festival-goers, and kids and adults alike took part – including the visiting Bomberos (fire service) and GVI staff.
It was great to see the community come together and put on such a successful event, where everyone involved seemed to be having a great time. I believe seeing everyone be so excited about the kite festival gives hope to our project as well, as it shows that the people of El Cocal have an interest in creating meaningful community experiences together.
Back at the hostel, we divvied up into our project groups to figure out next steps for the coming week. Hopefully we’ll be able to create more fun experiences for the community as part of the project, using the joy of the kite festival today as inspiration.