World’s largest collection of flip-flop art coming to Metro Vancouver

Burnaby Now

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Can an environmental hazard be transformed into something positive — even beautiful?

That’s the goal of Waste to Wonder, an awe-inspiring art exhibit made entirely from recycled flip flops.

A bison, one of the five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife, will be on display at Metropolis at Metrotown. Photo: Ocean Sole Africa

The Waste to Wonder exhibit, handcrafted by Ocean Sole Africa, consists of five life-size sculptures of Canadian at-risk wildlife including the narwhal, orca, bison, grizzly, and caribou.

More than 6,500 flip flops in total were used to make the sculptures, requiring 2,500-plus hours of work by more than two dozen artists.

Why flip flops?

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of discarded pairs of the synthetic-rubber sandals have been found worldwide in bodies of water and along shorelines.

They often are made with non-recyclable materials, and contain chemicals that are harmful to humans, animals and plants.

Ocean Sole Africa is a Kenya-based social enterprise that “upcycles” flip-flop waste and turns it into animal art sculptures.

“Ocean Sole Africa is creating beautiful, important work that entertains people while also encouraging them to think harder about our planet,” says Judy Black, marketing director for Metropolis at Metrotown.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting their largest exhibit yet.

During the exhibit, each sculpture will be available for purchase through an online auction. All proceeds will be donated to Variety – the Children’s Charity.

In addition to the exhibit, many Waste to Wonder activities will be taking place in the Grand Court, including a selfie station, artist demonstrations and upcycle workshops.

The show is being displayed in the Grand Court of Metropolis at Metrotown, from Aug. 8 to Sep. 8.

For more information got to the event page Waste to Wonder.