3 Seconds…and Counting Unveiled at West Columbia Riverwalk

The City of West Columbia unveiled a 27-foot-long and 9.5 feet in diameter bottle sculpture on Friday, September 27, 2019, at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater.

The artist, Karl L. Larsen, locally sourced the almost 12,000 bottles used for the project in less than a month from citizens who brought their bottles to city hall, Lexington County Recycles, Dynamic Health & Fitness, Riverbank Elementary, Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens, 1321 Lofts, Crescent Construction, and Redd Flooring.

The idea behind the sculpture is to bring awareness to South Carolinians about the impact of single-use plastic. The City of West Columbia recently launched an anti-littering campaign to clean up areas of the city that are impacted by large amounts of litter. In correlation with this art project, the goal is to make visitors and residents aware of how their dedication to keeping their surroundings free from litter will contribute to keeping West Columbia and the rivers clean and beautiful.

How the public can help:

•        Cut back or eliminate convenience-based single-use plastic packaging in your everyday life

•        Reuse and find creative ways to re-purpose plastic bottles

•        Recycle when necessary

•        Leave natural spaces cleaner than when you arrived

•        Get involved locally in litter clean-ups in your neighborhood

•        Spread the word about this project and encourage and challenge others to rethink their consumption of single-use plastic products

The bottle sculpture is:

Anna Huffman at unveiling.

•        27-feet-long and 9.5 feet in diameter

•        300% the size of a single-use plastic bottle

•        Created with almost 12,000 plastic single-use bottles

The almost 12,000 plastic bottles used in this sculpture can be sourced in the United States in only three seconds, giving this project its title. The vision with Three Seconds…and Counting is to enlighten citizens of the harm of single-use plastic bottles in our natural spaces as well as provide a space for contemplation and reflection of one’s personal consumption behaviors.

Please use our #3seconds and #TakePrideintheWestSide when posting about this sculpture.

Statement from Artist Karl L. Larsen (Artist from Columbia, SC. His work varies from murals, interactive public art installations, abstract paintings, and sculpture.):

“In order to come to grips with our insatiable desire for convenience-based plastics and other harmful products and packaging, we must reflect on our personal consumption habits and waste practices. Right now, our methods of combating the irrevocable damage plastics have on our natural spaces, drinking water, wildlife and ultimately, to ourselves are strictly reactive and, as a result, rendered ineffective.

To find the solution, we must be proactive. We must take personal responsibility for what we purchase. We must look at our consumption in a new way because this “out of sight, out of mind” attitude we have about our waste over the last five decades is what got us here. We need to see our litter. By scaling up a common single-use plastic bottle, I wanted to do just that. I wanted to purposefully obstruct and restrict the view of a natural area yet design a thoughtful concept that allows for personal reflection and contemplation. To be consumed by that which you consume. That’s what this is about.

The nearly 12,000 single-use plastic bottles used to create this sculpture were all sourced locally. So local, they were pulled from the banks in which this sculpture rests… the day of installation. My hope with this project is for it to allow us to rethink how we consume; for it to spark conversation and harbor collaboration in efforts to curb or eliminate single-use convenience-based plastic products and packaging from our lives for a cleaner future for generations to come.”


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