Artist Index


Rox De Luca, Still gleaning for plastics, on the beach

Open Fri-Sun 11am-5pm 14 - 30 August
(except Sunday 16 August)

Open day  Friday 14 August from 11am to 5pm 
(see conditions of entry below)

Voices of Women presents Still gleaning for plastics, on the beach, an installation by Rox De Luca, showing work made from materials she has gleaned from the beach near where she lives.

Still gleaning for plastics, on the beach is also the location in which Clearway (Corona) will be filmed. This is a short Voices of Women film in which Australian women’s stories are performed in conjunction with the installation and with the music written in response to it by composer Elizabeth Jigalin.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the film Clearway (Corona) will ONLY be streamed online on Thursday 27 August or Friday 28 August. 
For tickets register here: 

Rox De Luca Still gleaning for plastics, on the beach (detail), Ph Margaret Roberts

Rox De Luca Still gleaning for plastics, on the beach (detail), photo Sue Callanan
Rose Bay Beach shoreline Photo credit Rox De Luca

Rox gleaning on Bondi Beach. Photo credit Alana Dimou

Rox gleaning on Bondi Beach. Photo credit Alana Dimou

Rox De Luca: Gleaning for plastics, defying wastefulness
Most days Sydney-based artist Rox De Luca gleans along her local beach, Bondi, or a little further away at Rose Bay Beach. She is looking for flashes of colour and of whiteness against the sand, the signs that the beach—like every beach on the planet—is adjusting fragment by fragment to the deluge of plastic waste that our species generates daily. She collects the weather-worn fragments from the sand, and she takes them home to clean and to categorize by size, colour and shape. Then her defiant transformations occur.
Using steel wire or fishing line she threads the plastic remnants into long sinuous garlands, or she collates them into smaller, intimate bundles. Sometimes De Luca accesses her plastics from other sources—for example, the tamper-proof aviation seals that are discarded in their hundreds of thousands each day in airports across the world—and reorders them into shapes like the skeletons of deceased sea creatures, an allusion to the lethal work done by plastics when ingested by the marine animal and bird life of the earths oceanic ecosystems. At times, De Luca homes in on a recognizable plastic form that seems to proliferate without pause, a key example being the red tops from the small fish-shaped plastic soy sauce bottles that are ubiquitous in Japanese restaurants. That De Luca can create massive spirals out of those small, but endlessly available, discards, says a lot about the poor design choices that food producers have made, and that we as customers accept without question.
I use the verb to glean” to frame De Lucas aesthetic interest in the environmental spate of discarded plastic in two senses: to gather something laboriously and slowly; and to detect, discover, unearth, often little by little, ergo to deduce, to infer, also slowly. Usually applied to the actions of people collecting remnant grains or vegetables or fruits after harvesting, De Lucas gleaning involves her gathering of plastic detritus, and her remaking of those plastic shards and discards into new forms, and thus new modes of critical deduction and inference.
The constructions evolving from De Lucas gleaning are beautiful in their sinuousness and their subtle, at times translucent, colourations. Even the minimal, neat order of her small bundles invites admiration precisely because the environment appears to be assisting De Luca in configuring that order. At the same time De Lucas works are humbling in their defiant reminder of our destructive, wasteful propensities.
A January 2016 World Economic Forum report forecasts that in the middle of this century our oceans will hold less fish than plastics. And—as De Lucas gleaning intimates—plastics are vying with sand itself to form the core constituent of the planets beaches. De Luca’s practice addresses such forecasts by asking her audience to intuit something of these global displacements, and the vastness of their scale, when viewing the reformulated results of her gleaning for plastic, on the beach. It seems apposite, then, that this exhibition takes place in the middle of a global pandemic that has caused many of us to reflect on our relations with, and impacts on, the world that hosts us.
© Paul Allatson, University of Technology Sydney, 2020

Conditions of entry to the exhibition:
There are limited places inside Articulate. You may have to wait a few minutes if it is full when you arrive.
Please stay at home if you’re unwell.
Stay at home if you’ve been in contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 case.
Please wear a mask/face covering when inside Articulate.
Utilise hand sanitisers provided at the Articulate entrance.
Leave your contact tracing information on entry.
Maintain 1.5 metres distance from other visitors and staff.
Have your forehead temperature taken with touchless temperature gun on entry to Articulate.

The Voices of Women project is supported by funding from the Inner West Council