WORKSHOP: Margie Murphy and Anita Pender (left and right) from the Great Barrier Reef Festival with upcycling artist David Day.
WORKSHOP: Margie Murphy and Anita Pender (left and right) from the Great Barrier Reef Festival with upcycling artist David Day. Contributed

Reef Festival workshop creating community art

BE A part of something great this Saturday at the second of the Great Barrier Reef Festival's workshops to create community art.

Led by renowned upcycling artist David Day and hosted by Lure in the Coral Sea Marina Resort, Saturday's workshop is open to people of all ages and free of charge to attend.

From 10am-3pm, Mr Day will teach participants a technique for turning trash into treasure.

The basis for each individual artwork is a plastic milk bottle, melted, pressed and decorated to become a colourful fish.

Alone, these fish symbolise a solution to the problem of plastic waste.

Collectively, they will speak volumes as a piece of community art.

The resulting "school” of fish will be displayed on the Airlie Beach foreshore during the festival from August 1-4.

Mr Day, who has been engaged through a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant, said he couldn't wait to see the final installation and encouraged as many people as possible to participate.

"Come on down, get involved, make some fish, join the big school, and hopefully we'll end up with a massive artwork on display at the Great Barrier Reef Festival,” he said.

Festival chairwoman, Margie Murphy, said people could come for an hour or stay all day.

"It's such a simple but effective process that people immediately get engaged and it doesn't take very long or require any particular skill level to create something special,” Margie said.

Coral Sea Marina Resort marketing and business development manager Joscelyn O'Keefe, said this was a particularly important project for a coastal community like the Whitsundays.

"Purging plastics is one of the Coral Sea Marina Resort's environmental pursuits so we are proud to be hosting these workshops and proving that together we can make a difference,” she said.

Tourism Whitsundays chief executive officer Tash Wheeler said the last workshop attracted participants from not just the local area but also Mackay.

"It's encouraging to see this event not just bringing visitors to the region but also spreading important messages from the heart of the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

RADF chair and Whitsunday Regional Councillor Jan Clifford said the funding was being put to good use.

"This is also helping to enhance the capabilities of our existing and emerging artists so it ticks many boxes,” Jan said.

Any individuals or businesses wanting to donate empty PET type 2 bottles instead of throwing them away this week, are asked to email info@greatbarrierreef by close of business tomorrow.

The 2019 Great Barrier Reef Festival is proudly supported by Cruise Whitsundays.

For more information on the workshop, visit www.greatbarrierreef and follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.