Sculpture composed of expanded polystyrene packaging

Upcycled art - sculpture from expanded polystyrene packaging

Polystyrene Idol

Expanded polystyrene packaging.    35 x 55cm.    2021.

A sculpture fabricated from expanded polystyrene packaging – an example of upcycled art.
Upcycling, or the repurposing of waste or redundant material, is a common phenomenon in art, especially recently since the rise of environmentally orientated art or eco art (and the invention of the word upcycling).
Of course the practice is probably as old as art itself.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to notice the sculptural qualities of pieces of polystyrene packaging.

I call the work Polystyrene Idol because the shapes of the polystyrene in the piece are suggestive of the carved idols of some cultures. In the context of Western culture such an idol may be seen as an idol linked to the cult of consumerism, especially because the polystyrene is the material that protects consumer goods when they are in trannsit, and it is also the discarded waste material once the consumer goods have been acquired by the purchaser.