Artist Aymar Ccopacatty began artistic explorations into the uses of recycled materials while studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, later settling on colorful plastic bags from the U.S. and his birthplace in Peru as prime creative material. Aymar makes colorful collage images and plastic textiles that reflect the daily consumption of modern life, often using traditional textile techniques inherited from his native Aymara family.
Having recycled plastic refuse material into art since 2006, Ccopacatty feels that his most meaningful and collaborative work is building “trash looms” from recycled materials found on-site. The weaving collects plastic bags and anything else pulled into the loom. Through the interaction, people get a sense of how much waste is out there. He believes that plastic recycled from sacred places such as Machu Picchu or anywhere that is special to humanity, take some essence, spirit and ironically, some of the trash from the place where it was found, thus rendering certain plastics sacred. This type of synchronistic Andean philosophical belief illustrates willingness toward integration, tolerance and harmony toward everything that is new on our holistic earth.
After much experimentation Ccopacatty decided to share these techniques with local textile artists in Perú. Taking what once was conceptual art and giving it a practical spin. With characteristic ability, these textile artists began knitting colorful, miniatures in recycled plastic which are sold as key chains and other objects. The conceptual objective of giving a metaphysical and actual value to plastic bags holds true through out.