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The strange beauty of trash

The strange beauty of trash

Words: Anne-Marie Hoeve

Photos: Maisie Cousins

Can reframing a problem make us more willing to address it? Let’s take a good look at trash…

Squashed fruit oozes juice, a raspberry grows mouldy fur and rotting flowers melt into the gloopy remnants of yesterday’s dinner. Top it off with some assorted bits of plastic and what do you have? A bunch of garbage. 

Normally we stash it in the bin and quickly put a lid on it, hiding it safely from sight until a truck comes to carry it out of our lives – burying it in anonymous landfills, where we never have to look at it or think about it again.

But what happens when we zoom in and take a good look at what we throw out? This is what photographer Maisie Cousins invites us to do in her Rubbish series. With luscious colours – sensual and glistening within carefully framed compositions – this is garbage as you’ve never seen it: gorgeous in its own strange beauty.

Perhaps this is the first step in opening our eyes to what we consume, what we throw away and how we deal with waste as a society. 

How can we deal with it if we don’t want to look at it?

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