Marina DeBris used to go to the beach to collect stacks of Styrofoam cups and bring them to her local and uninterested convenient store who, according to DeBris, took her offerings with little enthusiasm. Now DeBris frequents the beach to pick up art supplies.
“The whole idea of making beach detritus into art started just three years ago from the realization that the waste we create always comes back to haunt us … I needed a creative way to draw attention to it,” DeBris said.
According to DeBris, a Mar Vista artist, she has transformed this passion and beach trash into Beach Couture — A Trash ‘n’ Fashion Show on display for Ocean Awareness Month, now until Sept. 5, at Zero Minus Plus/Fred Segal.
On Aug. 25 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. DeBris will stop by the store located at 500 Broadway for an event and fundraiser with some of the proceeds going toward 5 Gyres, an environmental group dedicated to freeing the world of plastic pollution.
DeBris has used her art to aid several other environmental groups including Heal the Bay, Friends of Ballona and Sustainable Works.
These groups, DeBris said, are fundamental in putting pressure on part of what DeBris dubs “the source” of waste: the manufacturers.
Although as DeBris points out Santa Monica is a city ahead of the environmental game she believes that consumers and manufactures alike are still in need of a little education in order to advance and push forward litigation such as the recent ban on single-use plastic bags.
DeBris sees this, utilizing her art as a learning tool and stimulate for all, as her main function.
“I use humor to startle viewers into taking a closer look at things we usually ignore. The goal is to encourage people to rethink their use of disposables and, ultimately, reduce waste,” DeBris said.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the reception with 5 Gyres was scheduled for Aug. 29. The fundraiser is set for Aug. 25.