Plastic bottles and worn tires that wash up on the banks of the May River or the sands of Hunting Island are an eyesore. But collect them and they can be recast into something beautiful.
Beaufort artist Terry Brennan is turning trash into art as part of the Beaufort County World Oceans Day celebration June 16.
The plan is to create a large-scale work of art made mostly out of repurposed goods at ARTworks in Beaufort. Brennan is inviting the community to contribute their recyclables at two workshops June 2 and 9.
Brennan has spent weeks attending river and beach cleanups throughout the community. Soda cans, rotted boats, plastic bags, rubber hoses -- it all seems like garbage until Brennan starts to see it in a new light.
"This is intended to be a creative way to use things that have been discarded into our waters," he said.
Brennan, who recently moved to the area from Myrtle Beach, has been an artist most of his life but more recently has found his niche in found object art. He can find inspiration in a discarded crutch, a pile of driftwood or a toy gun, and with a little tinkering can create a fish or a woodland animal.
Brennan created a large found object piece for an arts festival in Michigan last year that resembled a whale jumping out of a Dumpster, a wave of plastic bottles spilling over the side. He plans for the Oceans Day project, which has been dubbed Locomocean, to resemble something similar. He's in the process of getting a Dumpster to use as a canvas. From there, it's anyone's guess as to what the final project will look like. It'll depend on the objects he gets and how they speak to him.
"That's all part of the excitement -- seeing where this can take us," he said.
This the first year ARTworks has participated in an Oceans Day celebration, executive director J.W. Rone said. Knowing Brennan's work, Rone said the decision to have him work at ARTworks for his project was easy.
"If he's not a household name now, he will be," he said. "He has amazing work. It's creative, it's clever, it's whimsical. The things he can do with other people's trash is amazing."