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Binkley Diving In BC Art Project Unveiled

Binkley and his niece, Olivia Richardson unveil their Diving In BC art project, which they have been working on once a week for several weeks. Diving In BC is a group of volunteer divers who have been cleaning the bottoms of waterways in the Sea to Sky corridor, salvaging trash. To bring attention to their work, they have partnered with the Arts Council Alliance which has engaged 11 artists to create artworks from this trash. The resulting artworks will tour the Sea to Sky corridor for the remainder of this year.

Michael Binkley invited his niece, Olivia Richardson to join him in creating their contribution to the project. The pair were given aluminum cans, golf balls, swim goggles, vape cartridges, and raft paddles. They managed to incorporate these (though not every piece of trash) into a high relief composition wall hanging. They chose the contextual subject of the Pacific Giant Octopus swimming in giant kelp. The octopus and kelp are native to the waters of Howe Sound and are the largest of their species. Binkley fashioned the octopus’ mantel, eyes and gill tubes from cans, while Richardson created four of the creature’s eight tentacles from the raft paddle handles and vape cartridges. You can follow the progress of the artists’ work on their Instagram feeds: Michael Binkley’s and Olivia Richardson’s

They skinned the white jacket golf balls to lighten the artwork’s weight and used them as “pixels” to describe the sea bottom. If one squints, the tarnished skins form shading of the seabed. They used the yellow golf balls as kelp stems and cut the paddle blades for the kelp fronds. They painted the background with ocean blues and greens, added the other four octopus tentacles, then finished the background with dyed resin for a deeper illusion of water. Real oyster shells complete the underwater seascape.

Dangling from the octopus’ tentacles are swim goggles, things this sea creature does not need to see underwater. These give the title “:Thank You, But I Don’t Need Goggles”.

Michael and Olivia hope that viewers will be impacted by the fact that this artwork is created from trash carelessly discarded by those who think if they can no longer see the garbage, it must have magically disappeared. Discarded trash doe not disappear, rather it pollutes our environment and is dangerous to wildlife. Creatures below the water surface can ingest this garbage, killing them. Many of us are active in recycling unwanted materials, or responsibly disposing them, but here is evidence that not all humans are following suit. Binkley ponders that much of the items illustrated are trash that has resulted from an indulgent human activity – drinking alcohol, smoking, and playing golf….

While this artwork’s title is tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that even the highly intelligent octopus may ingest plastic. Scientists’ recently have discovered trace elements of plastic even now in humans. We have polluted our biosphere to the point now where we ourselves are ingesting our trash.

Binkley and Richardson with the artwork, along with “supervisor” Finn. They hope you will visit the exhibition over the coming months.

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