Last night we attended the opening of an exhibit at an art gallery here in San Telmo, just a few blocks from our apartment. The artist was named Adriana Gatti, and she had created a dress made of rubber from tires. Most definitely cool. Then she had taken photos of the dress floating in air over various landscapes.

Co-operative members, the artist and the owner of the gallery discussing the possibilities of recycling. You can see the original dress in the image behind the group and the remains of it on the table in front.

The images were powerful yet haunting, and the artist herself joined us to tell us the story of what had happened to that dress. It had been burned accidentally along with a number of her other works, leaving only some charred rubberized remains which sat artfully arranged in the middle of the exhibit. Interestingly enough, the pieces of the burned dress actually fit together to make the shape of a smaller dress, and Adriana explained that the theme of transformation and renewal was central to the experience she went through as she put the exhibit together. Truly compelling!

Our main reason for being there, however, was not to enjoy the art (and the free glass of malbec!) amid beautiful surroundings, but to facilitate a very strategic introduction for the project.  And it went off beautifully; better than we’d hoped.  Adriana and the gallery owner, Toia, both had the chance to meet Maria Virginia and several member of the Nueva Mente cooperative (where our first production hotpress will be), who came in for the event.

I can only imagine how they felt, arriving in the city after an hour’s drive from Moron, and learning that Toia had an interest in selling what they would be producing from the waste plastics that they work with everyday, in her beautiful posh gallery store. I sensed it was both a exciting and intimidating prospect; but I was inspired (and I hope they were too) by the genuine interest in the prospect of upcycling waste plastics into designer pieces from the people in this upscale artistic scene. Both the Toia, the gallery owner, and Adriana, the artist and woman of the hour, spent a significant amount of time chatting with our little group, and Eric and I became aware that there was little we needed to do to facilitate anything – this was really happening!

Now, we have our work cut out for us to deliver a repeatable, beautiful, high-quality product – but that is a concern for another day. For last night, there was an unmistakable bridge created between two worlds, and some common ground found between those people. We hope this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!