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Cracking Art Recyclable plastic art animates Swiss village

Since when do meerkats and penguins live in southern Switzerland? Since a travelling art movement transplanted them there!

The Cracking Artexternal link group installs plastic animal figures – some super-sized, all super-bright – in public areas around the world. From now until June 30, the Swiss town of Asconaexternal link serves as the backdrop.

Located in Italian-speaking canton Ticino, and next to Locarno of film festival fame, this picturesque place is known for its 16th century Old Town, its palm and chestnut trees, and its views of Lake Maggiore and the mountains.

Ascona map


Formed to call attention to environmental issues and the growing divide between humans and nature, Cracking Art has created over 400 installations since its founding in 1993. The name refers to the concept of something splitting or breaking, as well as to the process of turning raw crude oil into plastic.

The figures are made of recyclable plastic and meant to spark “a community-wide conversation about the importance and the environmental impact of recycling while leaving a potent artistic trace in the communities we live in,” according to Cracking Art’s websiteexternal link.

“We love having the ability to re-use the plastic many times over. After some use in our installations, the works are shredded and their plastic is regenerated to create new works: a closed, controlled, and continuous re-use.”

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