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Eye-catching wave sculpture heads to the University of Bristol

'Another Wave is Possible' by Wren Miller is currently based by the entrance to Royal Fort Gardens

Press release issued: 1 September 2023

A provocative artwork designed to start conversations about the environmental impacts of littering will be based outside the entrance to the University of Bristol’s Royal Fort Gardens throughout September.

‘Another Wave is Possible’ is a sculpture designed by eco-artist Wren Miller to raise awareness of the devastating impacts of ocean plastics. The eye-catching 4m high and 6m long sculpture highlights the scale of littering in Bristol, having been made with 90kg of waste, equivalent to the volume of litter dropped on Baldwin Street on one busy Friday night.

Bristol residents may well already be familiar with the artwork, which has previously been on display on a floating pontoon in Bristol Harbour.

The Wave consists of plastic bottles, aluminium cans, discarded masks, plastic aprons, scaffolding nets, old shoes and more.

Artist Wren Miller said: “I choose to work with these materials because they tell a story of our convenience-driven, throw-away culture. When we cast away a plastic drink bottle or a crisp packet, we instantly forget about it, but these things could eventually dissolve into microplastics - plastic pollution. What gets into the water courses, flows out to sea. It's not visible to us on land, but we are affecting wildlife, choking our seas and cutting off an important source of the world's oxygen supply.

“The students at the University of Bristol are from across the globe, coming from so many backgrounds. But we all share one common truth: humanity is the biggest threat to this planet's health and if we continue as we are currently, we will have blown it. I hope that the sculpture will inspire the university’s students to start conversations, which can lead to change.”

The University of Bristol’s Sustainability team has already brought in measures to reduce packaging. Water fountains are available across campus to reduce the need for single use bottles and cans or water, and the university’s Source cafes no longer sell drinks in plastic bottles, and have removed plastic straws, stirrers and sachets.

Barra Mac Ruairi, Chief Property Officer at the University of Bristol, said: “We hope the piece will get staff and students thinking about how they can reduce their impact on the environment by keeping our campus free from litter, protecting nature and recycling items that they buy.”

In partnership with Bristol Waste, Bristol City Council, and environmental charity Hubbub the sculpture is part of the ‘Bristol's Binning’ campaign, in a bid to highlight and reduce the issue of litter across the city. Picking up litter costs the city around £6million a year.

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