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A rubbish garden with an important message

By Hayley Robinson

A garden made entirely out of litter has been created by two artists.

Sioux Peto and Colin Barnard got the idea earlier this year when they saw how so much public land was being polluted by an endless flow of litter.

The creation at the Polka Dot Art Centre in Teynham was opened by the deputy mayor and mayoress of Swale Cllr Ben Stokes and Sylvia Bennett and MP Gordon Henderson and his wife Louise during a ceremony last Friday night.

Ms Peto and Mr Barnard said: "This project is to create awareness about littering. Nature is a forgiving and beneficial force that supports and gives us life, but we humans are abusing it.

"Nature takes waste that we leave in our streets and countryside back into itself; it absorbs the chemical and poisons, but for how long? The garden we have created represents what might be our future; mutated growths that will replace and choke vegetation, growing everywhere and over everything." The event also marked the launch of this year's Litter Angels competition, which will see youngsters designing an anti-litter poster and making works of art from rubbish.

Mr Henderson, who is supporting the Polka Dot Centre's work, said: "This project by Sioux and Colin is not only visually stunning, but it carries a very important message - abuse our local environment at your peril.

"It is because that message fits in with the aims of our annual Litter Angels competition that Sioux and I decided to launch this year's competition at the same time as the garden was opened.

"We are hugely grateful to county councillors Kent Pugh and Mike Whiting for using some of their KCC community allowance to sponsor a series of school workshops.

"These aim to help us educate local youngsters to the importance of keeping our streets and countryside clean.

"We would like to thank also local fast food chain McDonald's, who have funded this year's prizes and our printing.

"They often receive unjustified criticism, but their involvement in Litter Angels shows their community commitment."

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