A Cuban artist defends recycling to protect the environment

Marnia Briones at The Green Feria (Eco-Festival), alongside other projects, companies and businesses celebrating World Environment Day, in Havana. Photo: taken from Facebook

Marnia Briones makes unique works of art, using waste responsibly, so as not to contribute to climate change and to protect the environment.

By IPS / Cuba

HAVANA TIMES – It was first the shortage of materials and then the need to create in unfavorable conditions that Marnia Briones became a Cuban businesswoman who develops her art using recycled materials and protecting the environment.

“Recycling, Art and Transformation” is the project conceived by this single mother, who discovered that matchboxes, furniture, all kinds of fabrics and other mediums can be used to create a world of beauty and functionality. .

Her unique handmade pieces, with acrylic on cardboard, paper, fabric, cutouts of other pieces, costume jewelery set her apart, as she is driven by the principle of giving importance responsible use of waste, so as not to contribute to climate change and thus protect the environment.

“Recycling should be part of our daily life, not just something we do once in a while,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

An exhibition of his work based on this idea was presented at the Green Fair (Eco-Festival), on Saturday June 11, alongside other projects, companies and businesses celebrating World Environment Day, at Quinta de los Molinos, Havana.

Hand-painted stools, one of the proposals you can find at the workshop/gallery where Briones organizes group visits and organizes yoga classes.

The art of recycling

“I started painting when I was little, I am a self-taught artist who decided to explore other mediums such as my family’s old clothes, following the shortage of materials such as canvas and watercolor. It was the first push to discover that there is always a way when it comes to creating,” she says.

For more than two decades, Briones decided “not to give up painting as a way of life too”, despite the difficulties. So she started making art on different formats such as furniture, fans, matchboxes, shoes. This led her to paint on scrap materials.

By living this particular creative experience, she learned “the value of recycling, the richness and the infinite ways of working on seemingly useless objects, as well as the understanding of the great impact this has on the environment”, explains- she.

While focusing on recovering as much waste for her transformation work as possible, she began to research recycling, protection and maintenance of raw materials, as well as studying permaculture at the same time. time.

“I didn’t let recycling become a temporary learning process, but continued to consciously integrate it into my work, both in personal and commercial projects. I focused on making recycling the heart of my art,” she says.

In the meantime, she believes she has learned to “convey a message, through art, about how all of society should deal with waste, including children.”

One of the workshops led by Marnia Briones, “Art and Naturaleza», takes place with pupils of the public school of Cambodia, in Havana.

Online Art and Activism

During the lockdown, to reduce the COVID-19 outbreak, Briones found the support she needed to promote her work on social media. She explains that it was by creating her Facebook page, Marnia Reciclaje Arte y Transformationthat it has established contact with a diverse audience.

“Besides showing them my work, I share tips and tricks on how to process certain objects. I am also talking about the actions and activities carried out by many environmental activists. Thus, I am able to contribute my grain of sand to this important work in favor of the improvement of our lives.

Convincing people of the usefulness of recycling is a continuous and slow process, believes the artist.

“When people around me saw my art, they started recycling so they could give me materials, while I managed to get other people interested in creative recycling,” she explains.

With the aim of raising children’s awareness of recycling, she also runs volunteer workshops at her son’s school, under the name of project “Arte and Naturaleza. “It’s to show children all they can do by recycling and taking care of the environment,” she says.

Earlier this month, she relaunched the project with students from Cambodia Public School, in Miramar, in the municipality of Playa in Havana.

According to Briones, projects “always show up in the process. It’s just about continuing to create and not losing sight as a businesswoman.

One of her current goals is “to help shed light on other single mothers who, living in Cuba, despite all its difficulties, have found in art a way to support their families, even with things that might seem to have absolutely no use.”

Read more about Cuba here on Havana Times

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