Plastic seems to have taken over the world! So many of our everyday items are made from it, including the majority of toys. Not only that, we’ve become a throw away society, so much of this plastic becomes landfill. This situation is not lost on Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji who recycles and reinvents unwanted plastic toys into colourful dinosaur sculptures and landscapes. Jurassic Plastic is currently showing at the Sydney Town Hall as part of the Sydney Festival from 6-28 January.
I love the story behind Jurassic Plastic. Japanese artist Hiroshi Fuji set up a toy exchange in his neighbourhood as a way for children to swap unwanted toys in response to the throw-away culture of mass consumerism. What he noticed from this exercise was many of the cheaply made, disposable toys were discarded. Think of all those desirable Happy Meal toys your kids had to have which soon after became a discarded toy on the bedroom floor. Well, it turns out those little plastic toys can look fairly stunning when made into an artwork.
BJ and his lovely support worker JD headed into the city today to check out the exhibition and it looks fab and it’s free. They gave it a big thumbs up.
Jurassic Plastic is an interactive space where kids and adults can admire the exhibits, explore, play and make. There’s a few areas to explore. Plastic Swamp is an expanse of toys where you can wander, rummage and explore and Tinkerspace is a free play space with toys and treasures. From what JD told me, the day provided a trip down memory lane with them discovering long forgotten toys from many eras in the piles. It also sounded like there were some hidden surprises because as they rummaged they didn’t know if the discarded toys still worked so there was experimenting and great fun when they found a toy still worked or made an unexpected sound.
The space promises to unlock creativity and make visitors think about how we can change our community.
Kids always love hands-on activities and they’ll be dazzled by the array of toys to play and experiment with at Jurassic Plastic. For kids who are keen to tinker a little more there’s the opportunity to book a ticketed workshop. Atelier is the artist’s studio where you can become an artist’s assistant and Makerspace is the workshop area for making a new work of art.
A range of toys are on tables for those unable to get down on the floor for a rummage and Sydney Festival staff were keen to help BJ check out the ones that were down too low for him. I can imagine him pointing out all the ones he’d like to have a closer look at. He’s good at getting people working!
Now if you’re an adult, without children, looking at this pile of toys, don’t worry, you have the opportunity to play under the cloak of darkness. Jurassic Plastic – Up Late is an adults-only event program where the space will be transformed (on set dates) to cater for the big kids including talks with special guests and a bar! You can read more about the speakers and topics on the Sydney Festival website. Adults also have the chance to make their own sculpture with the toys by booking a Makerspace Up Late workshop.
A tactile tour of the installation can be booked (it’s free but registration is required) on 14 January at 1030am.
For more information about Jurassic Plastic head to the Sydney Festival website.
Please note Jurassic Plastic is closed on Mondays.
Jurassic Plastic is located at Sydney Town Hall, Lower Town Hall, 483 George Street Sydney
This is a free event but remember for other Sydney Festival ticketed events, Australian Companion Card is accepted.
I’m sorry AJ and I missed out on this so I think we’ll be heading into the city this week to check it out ourselves.
A big thanks to BJ’s support worker for the photos and video!
Fern Khoo says
Thanks for sharing the lovely feedback of Jurassic Plastic Event. This has meant a lot to us. I’m the staff that caught on your video and I wasn’t aware that it was recorded haha.. I am glad that BJ had a great and fun time at Jurassic plastic. Helping BJ to access the toys might seem nothing to everyone but I get so emotion to see him be able to blend in with the environment so well despite his accessibility. I have a brother with severe autism spectrum disorder and it is great to see such a public event has brought the social awareness of the minority group of people. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Thank you for your lovely comment Fern and also for helping on the day. We appreciate it. Julie