Current Students

The art of milk bottles

Ritchie Ares Dona

Creative Arts Summer School artist-in-residence Ritchie Ares Dona knows a thing or two about plastic milk bottles.

Mr Dona has collected nearly 2000 of the 2-litre milk containers, and is reusing them to create new artworks.

The painstaking work requires him to cut the bottles using a bandsaw and scissors, and then using rivets and weaving techniques to meld them into new shapes and forms.

Mr Dona said he collected the milk bottles from fast food outlets, cafes, grocery stores and milk distributors.

“I like working with milk bottle plastic because there is so much of it, and it is free,” Mr Dona said.

“I experiment with it a lot. I use every part of the milk bottle.”

Born in the Phillipines, Mr Dona said he had been inspired by a traditional dish known as “puso”, which incorporates rice wrapped in woven palm leaves.

Mr Dona uses a similar weaving technique to join strips of plastic together.

He hopes to have a new installation artwork complete by time the summer school ends on January 21.

“You know, in painting, you have to put the date on your work?” Mr Dona joked.

“Well, I don’t have to – the date is printed right there on the side of the bottle for me.”

Mr Dona is the official artist-in-residence for the University of Tasmania’s annual 10-day Creative Arts Summer School.

Picture: Creative Arts Summer School artist-in-residence Ritchie Ares Dona with some examples of his work.


Published on: 12 Jan 2011 1:09pm