Sculpture by art activist Liina Klauss from 5,000 recovered flip flops – COOL HUNTING®


Even in Bali’s idyllic dream landscape, marine pollution and ocean plastics are strangling and destroying natural beauty. To draw attention to this critical situation, the Potato Head Beach Club in Bali called on German-born artist and activist Liina Klauss to build a permanent outdoor installation in an effort to maintain awareness. Enlisting a team, Klauss collected more than 5,000 flip flops on the shores of the west coast of Bali. Sorted, bound and formed, the plastic pieces came together for a work of art like no other, and it is now on display.

“A few years ago, while working in Hong Kong, I noticed the excessive amount of flip-flops on unclassified beaches and decided to use them as my only art material,” says Klauss. “First, the amount reflects our overproduction and overconsumption. Second, they are worn directly on the body and people identify with them more strongly than, say, with a water bottle. It is important to me that people make a direct connection between marine pollution and their own daily lives. After all, it’s not ‘them’, it’s each and every one of us that causes global plastic pollution, ”she adds.

The process of its installation began with six beach cleanings. The pollution helped her “understand that this is a global problem and that my art awareness activism is needed here as much as elsewhere.” I started to inspire the children of Bali Greenschool and we reused “lost insoles” for different works of art in class. With OIOV, I have motivated volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help collect more flip flops and use them again as a support for land-art. Finally, Potato Head Bali was supported by collecting 3000 soles to make a total of over 5000.

This is Klauss’s first permanent installation and so his process has changed some of it. “Make flip-flops a permanent structure intended to bring them together,” she notes. “What would be the best sustainable material to do this?” We found a 100% recycled yarn from bottle caps made by Innovation Hub in Bali Greenschool. The structure under the sandal mat is made from locally sourced bamboo, sustainably grown and harvested here in Bali. For this, she teamed up with ibuku. The artwork itself took weeks to build, but its impact will hopefully be long-lasting.

Images courtesy of Potato Head Bali

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