Herculean Plastic




Interested in the relationships people have with everyday objects, Robyn Seabright’s graduating work focuses on how this dynamic influences their consumption, value and legacy from an individual and societal perspective. 

‘I explore socially constructed consumer habits and behaviours which inform the context of everyday mundane materials and objects. My practice adjusts the objects, ultimately transforming them, allowing the exploration and questioning of wider societal perceptions. The nature of my practice is mainly process led: I combine everyday objects and materials with various creative techniques (e.g. casting and sewing)- this physical interaction and experimentation directs my response and thoughts, taking original and unanticipated paths, which can be sometimes divergent and chaotic. Having multiple strands to the development process gives many opportunities for reflection and decision-making which are important and challenging.


Experimenting with everyday plastic objects, my research has been stimulated by the environmental impact of plastic pollution. Using discarded plastics I aimed to transform items and change how plastic is perceived. In the work titled Bags I used techniques of hand stitching to create striking imagery which capture the viewers’ attention to plastic carrier bags, closer inspection reveals evidence of a time-consuming artisan process, thus applying value to easily to these easily discarded objects, demonstrating the material’s alternative potential in the hope of changing perceptions.

Influenced by Ancient Greek architecture, I cast plastic air pocket packaging to create a modern interpretation of the habits and practices surrounding today’s plastic consumption, hoping to challenge perceptions surrounding both its individual and societal legacy. I chose plaster and herculite as casting materials as it reflects traditional structures, conveying a strong sense of cultural legacy.


The work titled Packaging consists of 16 separate plaster slabs combined to form one work. Cast from giant bubble wrap packaging, the slab resembles Parthenon marble frieze, which provides a snapshot of ancient civilisation engraved into marble. Packaging was made to formulate and express the uncertainty of my own legacy.

The Herculite column titled Consumption comprises twelve casts of plastic air pocket packaging, its form has a direct relationship with the architectural style of the Ancient Greeks and resembles a Doric column. The ancient world regarded marble columns as a symbol of wealth and power, an example of the reverence the civilisation gave to these natural materials. This is the contrast of our modern world where plastic bags and packaging are considered almost valueless, disposable items. Our attitudes, practices and habits outlive our existence which in turn become waste material’.


For more information, you can find Robyn on Instagram or visit her website here to see her full body of work.