Litter picking and community group Rise Up, Clean Up, Margate has teamed up with town resident and acclaimed artist, Louis Masai to bring creatives, commerce and community together in a bid to make Margate plastic free.
Dubbed the ‘Rise Up Residency’ 17 contemporary artists from around the world have descended on Margate this month to create multiple painted murals, each one with a message dedicated to raising awareness of ocean conservation and the issues caused by plastic in and near our oceans.
In the last two years, more than 3000kg of rubbish has been collected from Margate main sands, the majority of which is single use plastic and packaging.
Isle businesses have embraced the art-led-activism and have joined forces with residents as well as the artists to offer workshops and events during the first weekend of October to help everyone do their bit to reduce waste.
Each installation has dedicated partners, ranging from climate NGOs such as Sea Shepherd, to sustainable brands, including NatraCare, a company producing eco-friendly product alternatives for periods, as well as a variety of local businesses and National Cultural Centre, People Dem Collective.
Each mural will be carefully mapped-out throughout Margate in order to create the biggest impact within the community. Virtual and printable tour maps will be available on the Rise Up website for those who want to follow the trail. There will also be additional activities for kids which will make for a fun day out, especially during half term.
Rise Up founder Amy Cook said: “We have embarked on a mission to clean up Margate’s beaches and protect our stunning local coastline, ocean and our native wildlife. However, just cleaning up what people leave behind isn’t enough. We need genuine systemic change that looks to eliminate the problem at the source.
“My hope is that the Rise Up Residency, leads to changes in policy and actions that can help to usher in an era where Margate becomes single-use plastic free.
“Beyond that, I hope other seaside towns will follow suit and together we can help to bring about real change and preserve our gorgeous coastline for generations to come.”
Artist Louis Masai added: “When creatives, communities and commercial entities work together for the common good, the results can be genuinely astounding.
“While we’re waving the flag through street art and installations, we want other coastal communities to tap into their own authentic creativity and use the Rise Up Residency as a template to host their form of community activism.
“Whether it’s music, art, theatre or poetry, focusing on the message and coming together as one is what will bring about the change we all need to see for a healthier, kinder regenerative future.”
Daniel Webb, Founder of Everyday Plastic added: “Coastal towns feel the effects of the plastic crisis more keenly than anywhere else. What’s great about Margate is that it has an active and diverse community which not only recognises the impact of the plastic crisis, but also feels galvanised to do something to tackle it.
“It’s clear we cannot rely on the government to implement the necessary actions to make the change happen. Which is why it is local businesses that are integral to pushing forward change and offering flexibility and solutions to the community.”
For more information and the mural map, visit http://riseupresidency.co.uk/ from September 23. Artists will be creating their works from September 25-October 2.
To keep in touch with the project and other activities from Rise Up Clean Up, please visit https://www.riseupcleanup.co.uk/.