Wall sculptures that question the narrative of disposable packaging as end-of-life waste.

Sculptural interventions on found objects.

Pushing the limits of material and manufacturing processes, Salonen has built her international, award-winning design practice, Mottoformby exploring materials, ways of making, and working between craft and mass production. As a product designer, Salonen thinks about her role in designing new products, about the waste in product packaging, and about moving towards a more circular economy. This project seeks to open up a dialog on the over-consumption of product packaging and plastic waste. Just google it: Packaging accounts for 40% of all plastic produced, used once and discarded. Plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050. Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally.

This is a limited edition of unique artworks. Custom commissions available.

A visualization of waste as beauty.

Salonen’s hand-cast, bas-relief sculptures, titled “Discarded,” question the narrative of disposable packaging as end-of-life waste. The sculptures are created using everyday packaging components from light bulb blister packs to food packaging, and are themselves designed, only to be thrown away. By re-materializing ubiquitous, single-use packaging into a more permanent form (artwork), and using a more permanent material (plaster), Salonen disrupts the waste stream. Her meticulous process creates a paradoxical new object, where the throw-away is reincarnated as an object of desire. From low to high end, it’s a visualization of waste as beauty.

"These sculptures embody knowledge, an imprint of the impact on society." 

The Discarded sculptures embody an innate knowledge about the global issue of packaging as waste material. We sense an uncanny familiarity with the forms that are used, begging the question, “Do I advance the problem or the solution?” Plaster is a permanent material. Plastic packaging, while impermanent, contributes to a permanent problem. Here, the material and the form carry the information and knowledge of the performance that plastics have had. What is meant to be impermanent becomes permanent. 

A call for attention.

The multi-layered creation process, precision and attention to detail in the Discarded Series reflects the recognition that is needed in this global issue. It’s a call for attention. In this complex problem, we need designers and scientists to work as co-creators of new packaging systems that conform to a circular economy. We need products that can be shipped without packaging. Bio materials. Marketing that inspires consumers to reuse and recycle. Processes for buying local food and products without packaging. 

About the process.

The casting process for creating the bas-relief sculptures of the Discarded series starts with disposable food packages that are repurposed and used as moulds. Working against “throwawayism,” plaster is poured into the moulds, dried, sanded, painted, arranged into a composition, mounted onto a substrate and framed. The Discarded series is made with the utmost attention to craft and finishing.