Artful Waste


19 Sep 2015, 12 - 9pm

Sandbanks Provincial Park, Picton


Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Ontario, Canada


19 Sep 2015
12 - 9pm


Sandbanks Provincial Park
3004 County Rd 12
Picton, Prince Edward County, Picton ,  K0K 2TO
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Recognized for her large up cycled textile landscapes using reclaimed, discontinued fabric samples, award-winning textile artist, Suendrini Goonesekera’s latest work, an art installation aims to highlight Climate Change, as part of her on-going body of work, Artful Waste. 

Suendrini Goonesekera, an award-winning Canadian up-cycle textile artist, at the invitation of the Sandbanks New Waves festival, will shift her vision from reclaimed textile landscapes to an interactive art experience showcasing the effects of climate change on our natural environment. This event takes place at Sandbanks Provincial Park, in the Prince Edward County area, in Ontario, Canada, on Saturday, September 19th.

The Sandbanks New Waves Festival is a celebration of independent music, art, food, film and the people that support it all. This year’s headliner is Canadian singer-songwriter and activist, Sarah Harmer, winner of numerous Juno Awards (Canada’s Grammy Award equivalent) along with 6 other indie bands. Suendrini is proud to share some of her earlier landscape pieces that are inspired by Sandbanks Park, to adorn the stage and provide a back drop for the concert.

As a part of her newest work in her on-going body of work, Artful Waste, Suendrini will create an art installation spans all of the 100-square-foot temporary tent structure. The focus of the work is evocative and sensory. Dark sheers at the tent’s opening arouse curiosity and invite the passersby in.

This black, semi-opaque fabric symbolizes the veiling effect that may often be associated with the topic of climate disruption. Some are deniers and black it out, though it is getting harder to avoid the reality.  Some are confused by the onslaught of factual and contradictory messages put out in both the traditional and social media, and feel a dark helplessness. Others have sought to actively pull back the curtain and seek out for themselves. 

Stepping through the veil incites that sensation of seeking, of searching.

Inside the tent, the viewer is faced with a circular likeness of our precious Earth, a vast, rich tapestry of green and blue, six-foot high that hangs from the ceiling and grazes the grassy park floor below. One can smell the sweet, ambient earthy surroundings and the fresh lake air as well.

Beyond that, 2D up-cycled representations of individual, endangered animals such as the Golden Eagle, the Blanding Turtle, the little brown bat and the Monarch Butterfly that feeds on the dwindling Four-Leaved Milkweed, dangle delicately on monofilament thread secured from above.

On the back wall of the white tent, in black well-lit letters, it reads: SOS

This well-known signal evokes the distress call for help, for the on-going need for climate action and for the conservation that is required to save the flora and fauna that contributes to the delicate balance of a healthy ecosystem.

A mirror hangs in the viewing area and above it are the words: What can We do?

Participants exit the tent with that question on their lips and in their hearts.

Outside, on the side of the structure, Suendrini showcases informational points of focus from the Climate Reality Project, as well as other contributors, on the impact Climate Change has on the natural environment, wildlife and human health. This section includes information from a fun, comic-style writer, Julie Johnson,
( and a Next Steps list, so those who feel compelled to act will be presented with potential options.

Suendrini’s installation provides viewers with something to think on and take away. The hope is that it will inspire them to act to stop climate change, on their own free will.

As a Climate Reality Leader, trained by Al Gore this past July, Suendrini can also provide a petition for those interested in signing to show their support for climate action.

This petition from Climate Reality directly relates to the Paris Conference in December, and demands that world leaders sign a strong agreement and take climate action now. Signatures will be collected by Climate Reality and the results presented at the Paris conference.

Suendrini will also be at the tent to share her own experience and stories.

Her art arose out of a necessity to survive the sense of helplessness that accompanies bearing witness to the damage done to the natural world. When working as a designer in the corporate world, she looked within the industry for areas of environmental waste. She found that some of the resource-rich textile sample books, once out of trend, found their way into the trash receptacle.

She repurposes those rescued textiles in her on-going work, Artful Waste. This amplifies the environmental message by interweaving it into the medium. Not only does it demonstrate the importance of recycling, her work also contains no inks, no dyes, no paints, no interfacing and therefore is a labour of love. Her high-performing textiles are all meticulously hand-cut fabric that are sewn down onto other larger pieces of reclaimed textile that act as the background canvas.

Suendrini gathers her energy and resources to express herself and her findings through an independent and creative path. Her work is a manifestation of her experiences in nature, with the intention that people will connect and respond to her pieces emotionally. Her work has struck an emotional cord with viewers. In 2013, Suendrini’s work titled “County Rd 12, Prince Edward County” was awarded The Manly E. MacDonald Award of Excellence at the 20th Annual ART IN THE COUNTY Juried Exhibition in Picton, Prince Edward County, Ontario.

She considers art to be a tool for social and environmental justice.

Sandbanks New Waves and Climate Reality Project


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