Last week, a brand new and highly topical exhibition of contemporary art opened to the public at the University of Hertfordshire. Visually stunning and extremely thought-provoking, Plastic Matter is a unique group exhibition that explores plastic’s potential to become something more treasured, looks at how hastily we consume and dispose of it, its environmental impact and its future role in society.

Including installations, sculpture, film and photography, Plastic Matter brings together works from eight artists: Seyi Adelekun, Maria Arceo, Camilla Brendon, Hilary Jack, David Kefford, Steve McPherson, Jill Townsley and Daniel Webb.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to walk beneath an undulating canopy of 1,600 recycled plastic bottles filled with coloured water, watch a time lapse video of 9,273 plastic spoons and 3091 rubber bands as they slowly collapse and decay, and even contribute to the exhibition themselves as part of Maria Arceo’s work Plastiqueria UH Waste. Plastic Matter also features a giant blackboard to capture visitors’ thoughts and reactions to this topic.

Talking about the exhibition, curators Inna Allen and Elizabeth Murton said: “We hope visitors young and old will come and see Plastic Matter and that it will provoke conversations and action. Plastic is synonymous with modern life and heavily rooted in key industries. Yet plastic consumption and pollution are increasingly contentious issues as we witness their environmental impact across the globe.

“Plastic Matter highlights and celebrates the artists’ creative engagement with this problematic material. We hope that the exhibition raises awareness of our plastic consumption habits and asks all of us to consider the potential of plastic and its role in our lives.”

As part of the exhibition, UHArts, the University of Hertfordshire’s arts and culture programme, is delivering a range of related events, including a creative Plastic Workshop with artist Camilla Brendon, and a Plastic Discussion Panel with artists and academics from the university.

Plastic Matter is open from Tuesday, February 25, to Saturday, April 18, in the Art & Design Gallery at the University of Hertfordshire. For further information visit