A lot of America's trash and plastic recyclables end up in landfills of poorer nations, like Malaysia, India, and South Africa. Harare houses one of the largest landfills in Zimbabwe. Artist Moffat Takadiwa lives there.
Takadiwa mines landfills for plastic trash. Much of it contains labels and logos of American brands. He then meticulously sorts and weaves together the found bottle caps, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, and keyboard keys into elaborate tapestries.
From far away, the works look like beautiful beaded garments, filled with luscious pattern and color. Up close, the used bristles of toothbrushes snap into view, and the grimy details of the work become a distressing symbol of our global waste problem.
“The artist doesn’t separate environmental issues and political issues,” says Lindsay Preston Zappas, editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles. “I think it’s great timing, with the climate strike this Friday, to reconsider how all those things are connected and shine a light on that.”
Moffat Takadiwa’s exhibit, "Son of the Soil," is on display at the Nicodim Gallery in downtown LA until October 19th.