28 August 2023

Lanterns set to light up the night in youth art competition with a twist

| Claire Sams
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This is a chance to be creative while limiting your impact on the environment – and maybe take home a cash prize if you’re a lucky winner. Photo: River of Art.

Before you throw out that T-shirt, take a moment to think about what else it could be used for.

Repurposing for Resilience (RfR) Eurobodalla Vice President Doctor Robert Guth said second-hand items could often find a new home or have a second life.

“It hurts us to throw away anything that is still useable,” he said.

“Nothing really should get thrown away or recycled until it’s reached its end of use life,” he said.

RfR has partnered with the annual River of Art Festival for a youth art competition to bring sustainability and creativity together in their Lantern from Waste competition.

The hunt is on for 16- to 26-year-olds willing to design and make a lantern from recycled materials.

“We want to encourage community and people working together, so people can also collaborate with others older or younger than themselves,” Dr Guth said.

“If you’ve got an idea, all you’ve got to do is find someone aged 16 to 26 who wants to work with you!”

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While entrants are able to design their lantern as they like, it must be made from at least 50 per cent waste materials.

“Your imagination is your limit,” Dr Guth said.

“There’s lots of resources and cool things online to use for inspiration.”

However, the LED components will be provided by RfR.

The lanterns will be judged on 23 September at Luminous: Creating Place, which will function as the finale of the River of Art Festival.

“We would love to see the lanterns – the more we have, the better.

“It’d be lovely to light up our display at Luminous,” he said.

The winner will take home $650 and the second place getter will take home $450, while the winner of the People’s Choice Award will take home $250.

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Repurposing for Resilience’s work spans several programs beyond art competitions.

“We are very interested in the idea of a circular economy where things get used again and again, before eventually being recycled,” Dr Guth said.

“That anything can be given another life is something that we really believe in.”

The team’s work also includes a program to recycle solar panels and pass them on, Dr Guth said.

“Post-fires, we donated some systems to people who needed them who’d been burnt out,” he said.

“We’ve got suff going back out into the community for off-grid applications.

“But we’re also involved in other community programs that are more focused on awareness raising about recycling and reusing of materials generally, like the competition.

“It’s just a great way to bring awareness to the community about the possibilities of what you can do with recycling and repurposing, in general.”

Registration for the free Lantern From Waste competition can be completed through eventbrite, and entries must be submitted to Repurposing for Resilience by 9 September.

Further information is available on RfR’s website.

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