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Plastic Pollution Eco-Art, part 2

By July 17, 2019September 24th, 20225 Comments

How to solve Plastic Pollution?

Artist portrait with EvoGyre, photo: Don Dao, 2019

To help solve Plastic Pollution, I made an Eco-Art sculpture commission in the Maldives.  I’m thrilled to introduce EvoGyre.  She is a site-specific sculpture inspired by Jellyfish, composed of up-cycled single-use plastic bottles reclaimed from the local community in the Maldives.

What is this sculpture?

She is a site-specific Eco-Art sculpture installed 9 meters above the ground descending 5 meters above the dancefloor at the Rangali Bar at The Conrad Maldives.  She will be there as long as she continues having a positive impact on the guests and team members of the resort.  We are thinking she could be there for a while.  My first cleaning of her is tentatively scheduled 6 months from now.  5000 single-use bottles, or the amount a family of four consumes per year, make up the sculpture.

How did we make it?

After pre-fabricating as much as possible for 6 weeks, read my previous post here, the entire sculpture was assembled in the exhibition space over a marathon session of 4 days art installation.  The Conrad engineering team erected two fixed scaffolds, and one floating (wheeled), each about 7 meters tall.

Yes.  I wore a harness, safety first.

Selfie with work in progress, photo: John K Melvin, 2019




The image of me with the scaffolds was taken the morning of the third day of install.  Final touches were done, and then at the end of the fourth day, the scaffolding came down with the help of Conrad Engineering.  Here’s a video time-lapse of the project:

directly under EvoGyre, photo: John K Melvin, 2019

I’m honored that everyone loves her, I’m quite pleased with EvoGyre as well.

Why is she called EvoGyre?

Her name, EvoGyre, is an amalgam of two words, Evolution and Gyre.  There are five main gyres in the world, and they are a naturally occurring confluence of ocean currents.  Two in the Pacific, North and South, and two in the Atlantic, north and south.  The fifth is right here in the Indian Ocean, home of the Maldives.  Human created plastic pollution carried by ocean currents is collecting in each of these gyres.  Single-Use plastic bottles make up the majority of ocean plastic pollution.  Our task, is to evolve our behavior with the knowledge that we are damaging our environment that we depend on for life.

What about jellyfish?

EvoGyre is a monumental site-specific abstract jellyfish, because jellyfish are warning signs in the environment.  Jellyfish populations tend to swell when an ecosystem is in danger or has collapsed.  Some fear that in 10 years or less, the only seafood will be jellyfish.

The Conrad is a world class luxury hotel in the Maldives, you can visit their page here.  In the coming weeks we are expecting some more news, I’m thrilled to share it when it comes out.  Stay tuned, more to come…

Team photo with John in center, photo: Don Dao, 2019

It was an amazing eco-art project that collaborated with the local community, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and sets out a bold commitment to social responsibility for the Conrad and other hotels in the region.  To read more about how we did it, read my previous post here.  Hilton has put an article about the project on their news page here and Conrad has made an amazing information packed micro site here.

Forbes ran two articles here and here, thanks to Jennifer Kester for the coverage, and then one more here, thanks to Dan Dao for a great interview!  I’m also honored to share some print publications, you’ll find a lovely article by Zhu Lin in Noblesse September 2019 issue for China, and you’ll find a great article by Maysa Hasani for Destination KSA in Saudi Arabia.  An article in The Arrival is posted here; Maldives Isle Media re-posted an article here; Luxury Travel Magazine posted an article here; Travel Daily published an article here.  Here’s another article in Hong Kong Daily Apple, by Ly, another on Ugolini by Christian Redazione, and another on Island Chief, thanks so much!

Stay tuned as more news to come!

Thanks to everyone who helped on the project, all of the staff at the Conrad Maldives, the executive team, everyone in marketing, human resources, engineering, and of course, the bar staff at Rangali for looking after me and EvoGyre.

We did it!!

Love to all.



inside EvoGyre, photo: John K Melvin


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