Meet Camilla - First blog on my artistic practice by The Canal and River Trust

Have a look at the original blog and the Canal and River Trust’s website.

Drift objects I've sourced during a visit to the Philippines, and paintings inspired by seascapes and the natural foliage of the tropical islands, make up some of the pieces in my exhibition Mangrove, Mango, which highlights the items that ended up on the shores of the Philippines. This has in turn inspired me to look closer to home and along our waterways. COAST, my current project explores the British coastline and waterways.

Workshops and volunteering

Earlier this year I began to lead a series of workshops in collaboration with Bow Arts and UCL on plastics and activism. These workshops look at the industrial history of the Lea Valley, in East London.

This is where it started. Early plastic was discovered and made in Hackney Wick, and I began cleaning sections of the canal in this part of the city. This led me to my first encounter with the Canal & River Trust.

On a floating canal clean with Moo Canoes I collected waste plastic to use as material to form part of my art and workshops. I met Ross, a volunteer coordinator for the Trust in Central London and he introduced me to Emily, a London volunteer coordinator, who calls out to volunteer lock keepers to help save hard plastics found caught up in locks. The canal is not very far from my studio - what a great opportunity to get involved.

I hope that by working with the Trust, together we can increase public awareness on the fact that plastic finds its way into our canals and the importance of disposing of waste properly.

What's next? 

The next part of this series of workshops in conjunction with UCL will be held at the Bloomsbury Festival 17-21 October. It’s a short walk from the Regent's Canal and all ages can enjoy seeing my work created over the summer in workshops at Bow Arts and Here East.

There will be a free drop in workshop on the 20 October where participants can have a go at making some canal plastic art.

Next blog

Watch this space, as I'll be writing for the Trust once again. You'll read about plastic mobiles and plastic Christmas trees, and how you can get involved.