‘FRAGILE‘ is an art installation at the Eaton Centre in Montreal spread over 5 floors of this popular commercial centre. Artist Roadsworth (i.e. Peter Gibson) and fellow artist Brian Armstrong were invited by the Projekroom to work on this project. The challenge was to create an art installation from the waste products like plastic bottles, carton boxes, paper, etc. collected over a period of 8 months from the recycling containers of the shopping centre. The artists transformed the collected recyclable residual waste into an ecosystem that raises awareness of the value of everyday materials.
Bubble wrapped salmon made from shoe boxes leap up plastic waterfalls that cascade down the side of escalators. A plastic pond fills up a rectangular well where schools of plastic fish hover beneath the surface. Card board trees spring up along columns and an elevator shaft, their paper folder leaves splayed out against walls and railings. The Montreal Eaton Center has been transformed into an ecosystem using various by-products of its day to day operations, culled from the shopping center’s recycling bins. Plastic water bottles, cardboard boxes, coat hangers and paper cups are some of the building blocks that make up this installation which attempts to re-integrate these items into some kind of original, per-manufactured condition. But cardboard, rendered from trees and subject to the various industrial processes that are required to make it, has been forever altered from its sylvan origins. Same for the plastic water bottles which, emptied of the water extracted from rivers and springs, are nothing but hollow receptacles devoid of their life sustaining fluid.