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Lincoln Canoe Club create artwork highlighting the issue of plastic pollution in rivers

Lincoln Canoe Club members are quite familiar with the blight of single use plastic pollution on the local waters of the city, having removed more than 70 sacks of the stuff over recent years. 

Lincoln Canoe Club Oct 21 Paddle Cleanup 4

Over the last year the club has again supported the Surfers Against Sewage National Million Mile Clean campaign; and in Spring and Autumn, club members joined together to remove plastic pollution from local waters. Across the two events, 24 sacks of junk were removed including numerous plastic bottles, cans, glass bottles, food packaging and unusual items including a kids scooter, kids tea cup, Christmas bauble, a bike tyre and an inflatable flamingo. 

As a water based club, members have a growing understanding of how the scale of plastic pollution is affecting our river environments and the damage it causes. The club wanted to share this message further and the seed of an art project was sown. Since then all of the single use plastic bottles hauled from the waters during the Million Mile Clean events totalling 165 were washed and saved in preparation.

Inspired by Mandy Barkers current exhibition ‘Our Plastic Ocean’, the club contacted The Collection and were delighted to be offered the opportunity to work with local artist Nadya Monfronoli who created the ‘Plastic Fantastic’ art installation at Doddington Hall.

During the workshop on 11 December the club's junior members and their families used the found material to create sculptures to be photographed using colourful lights for dramatic effects in the photography studio they set up in the Clore at the Usher Gallery. The photographs of the sculptures will be displayed at the club.

Anthony one of the clubs junior members said: "My favourite thing was making a rocket from the plastic bottles I had collected when paddling."

Chantelle Grundy Clear Access Clear Waters Champion at Lincoln Canoe Club said: "Club members have literally removed hundreds of single use bottles from our waters and have been keen to highlight the issue of plastic pollution to a wider audience." 

Plastic Pollution Project Lincoln Canoe Club And The Collection And Artist Nadya Monfrinoli

Lincoln Canoe Club is absolutely delighted to be supported by The Collection and local Artist Nadya Monfrinoli to work with our junior members to create and photograph bespoke art installations to highlight the issue.

– Chantelle Grundy

Artist Nadya Monfronoli said: "It has been wonderful to see families working together to create some truly beautiful imagery from all of this waste material. The artworks will raise awareness of the problem of plastic pollution and the hard work that the Lincoln Canoe Club puts in to keeping the waterways clean for all of us.’

Jenny Gleadell, from The Collection and Usher Gallery, said: "This has been a fantastic opportunity to work with Lincoln Canoe Club in response to Mandy Barker’s ‘Our Plastic Ocean’. We are really keen to support local, relevant and creative responses to this amazing exhibition."

At the end of the session one of the junior club members was presented with a plastic bottle retrieved by the club on one of their paddle clean ups earlier in the year and signed by award winning national photographer Mandy Barker.