Marina DeBris

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Marina DeBris
Castaway Dress Designed by Marina DeBris.jpg
Dress made by Marina DeBris from trash found on the beach
Detroit, Michigan
EducationIndiana University; Rhode Island School of Design
AwardsAllens People’s Choice Award 2017 Sculpture By the Sea; Sydney Water Environmental Sculpture Subsidy; Waverley Council Mayor’s Prize

Marina DeBris is the name used by an Australian-based artist whose work focuses on reusing trash[1] to raise awareness of ocean and beach pollution.[2][3][4][5] DeBris uses trash washed up from the beach to create trashion, 'fish tanks', decorative art and other works of art.[6][7][8] She has also used beach trash to provide one perspective on what the earth might look like from space.[9] As well as creating art from debris, DeBris also is a fund raiser for environmental organizations,[10][11][12][13] and collaborates with non-profit organizations and schools to educate children about ocean pollution.[14][15] In 2021, DeBris found almost 300 face masks on beaches, and used them in her trashion and other displays.[16]

DeBris is also a social activist. In 2011 she participated in a panel on how artists can contribute to environmental public policy,[17] promoting clean energy[18] and curating eco-art exhibitions.[19][20] DeBris has worked with non profits to raise funds for art education.[21] DeBris is listed with the Women Environmental Artists Directory.[22]

Education and personal life[edit]

DeBris was educated at Indiana University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She has lived and worked in New York City, London, England, and Sydney, Australia. She was born in Detroit, had lived in Los Angeles,[23][24][25] and currently lives in Australia [26]

Genre and venues[edit]

Works by DeBris are often displayed in galleries,[6][27][28][29] in a maritime museum,[30] Sculpture by the Sea,[31][32][33][34] featured in magazines,[35] included in science events,[36] included in the Smithsonian Institution’s Washed Ashore Project,[37] or may be used by organizations such as the United Nations as awards.[38] Her works are also displayed in venues not typically thought of as galleries, but are art venues nonetheless, such as retail venues,[12][39] Burning Man,[40] a trasher's ball,[41] a downtown art walk,[42] an Earth Day creek spring clean-up,[43] and an Environmental & Animal Justice Exhibit.[44]

DeBris also partners or works with various anti-pollution organizations, such as Friends of Ballona Wetlands,[43] 5 Gyres,[45] RuckusRoots,[46] the United Nations Special Assembly on Climate Change[47] Heal the Bay[48] and other organizations, such as Aquarium of the Pacific.[49] Marina DeBris has also designed accessories for Captain Charles J. Moore, who worked to bring attention to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. DeBris' work with the United Nations Special Assembly was a collaboration with actress/poet Sheryl Lee, dancer Maya Gabay, and musician Marla Leigh.[50]

DeBris also partnered with an office building, MLC Centre, to highlight the problems of throwaway coffee cups. The MLC Centre hosted her work "Disposable Truths" created from used throwaway coffee cups.[51][52][53]


DeBris's "Inconvenience Store" was a joint recipients of the Allens People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Sculpture By the Sea.[54][55] The "Inconvenience Store" was also awarded with the Sydney Water Environmental Sculpture Subsidy for her work on water pollution and consumption,[56] and won the Waverley Council Mayor’s Prize.[57][58] Marina also won the Helen Lempriere Scholarship.[59]


  1. ^ "The Sydney Morning Herald Photos of the week, November 18, 2021". Sydney Morning Herald. 19 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Trash chic". Spiegel Online. May 10, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Greenmuze Staff (19 June 2011). "Washed Up Beach Art". Greenmuze. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  4. ^ Guzman, Richard (2014-04-29). "Urban Ocean Festival brings music, art, food and more to Aquarium of the Pacific for ocean awareness". Daily Bulletin. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  5. ^ "Throwaway society. On the rubbish trail with artist and 'trashion' creator Marina DeBris". Wilderness Journal (010). Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b "'Trashion' designer Marina DeBris turns ocean rubbish into high-end outfits – in pictures". The Guardian. September 13, 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  7. ^ Jesse (April 18, 2010). "Art by Deb Ris". Forth Magazine. Retrieved 2012-02-04.
  8. ^ "City Managers Weekly Report, Huntington Beach, California" (PDF). Huntington Beach Art Center. November 14, 2011.
  9. ^ Elizabeth Schwyzer (August 3, 2011). "New Art". Santa Barbara Independent.
  10. ^ "Mar Vista Artist Turns Trash Into Eye-Opening Art". The Open Daily. 2011-05-23. Archived from the original on 30 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  11. ^ Rebecca Asoulin (August 5, 2011). "Community Briefs: "Trash becomes art."". Santa Monica Daily Press.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Coast Couture" Rowena Ritchie, Eco Style West, Vol 23, August 23, 2011 "Coast Couture."
  13. ^ "Art exhibit of trash pieces on display at Fred Segal gallery in Santa Monica". The Argonaut. 2011-08-25. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Santa Monica Baykeeper to Educate and Entertain Children at Abbott Kinney Street Festival September 25 in Venice, California." Kristine Lee. Westside Today. n.d. "Santa Monica Baykeeper to Educate Children" Archived 2012-05-06 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "News » OC... and Sculpture by the Sea!". Sutherland Public Schools. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  16. ^ Gachman, Dina (May 8, 2021). "What Will We Do With Our Masks Now?". New York Times. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  17. ^ "California Lawyers for the Arts, Arts and Environmental Dialogue II—Los Angeles". California Lawyers for the Arts. April 7, 2011 "Arts and Environmental Dialogue II Final Report"
  18. ^ "Hands Across the Sand! Activism immersed in Art!". Art 4 All People, Workshops, Retreats and Fine Arts Gallery. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  19. ^ "American Trash". EarthWe. EarthWe. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  20. ^ "SustainAbility A Call for Action-We are all in this together--Eco Art Exhibition For International artists". California Arts Council. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  21. ^ Leonardo, Kathy (June 2012). "The Fashion of TRASHion Lights Up Downtown LA". Whitehot Magazine. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Marina DeBris". Women Environmental Artists Directory. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Marina DeBris". LA Art Lab. Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  24. ^ "Washed Up, About page". Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  25. ^ "Marina DeBris". Art Slant New York. Art Slant. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  26. ^ Thompson, Sean (October 20, 2015). "'Trashion' designer Marina Debris set to unveil Zoolander-esque dresses made of rubbish". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  27. ^ Upstairs at the Market Gallery, ArtLab Presents: Language. February 26, 2011.
  28. ^ "11:11 A Creative Collective". 11:11 A Creative Collective. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  29. ^ "Transcending Trash: the Art of Upcycling". Muzeo Museum Current Exhibit, April 26, 2014 - August 31, 2014. Muzeo Muzeum. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  30. ^ Pitt, Helen (February 4, 2021). "Meet the coastal warrior creating couture from Sydney's shore waste". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  31. ^ Wynne, Emma (2014-03-11). "Aquarium of the pacific gyre by Marina DeBris at Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach, 7 March 2014". ABC News Australia. Retrieved 2014-06-22.
  32. ^ Taylor, Andrew (October 24, 2013). "Bondi bubble turns head at Sculpture by the Sea". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  33. ^ Paget, Clive (28 October 2013). "Sculpture by the Sea takes art on holiday". Limelight. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  34. ^ Wynne, Emma (2014-03-11). "Aquarium of the pacific gyre by Marina DeBris at Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach, 7 March 2014" (3/11/2014). ABC News. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  35. ^ Obsolete, Ricardo. "OBSOLETE! #10: The SolarPunk Issue". Obsolete Magazine. Ricardo Obsolete. Archived from the original on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  36. ^ "LASER - Space and Place". UCLA Art | Sci Center. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
  37. ^ Fortescue, Elizabeth (8 September 2016). "Fashion or trash?: Bondi designer Marina Debris makes outfits out of ocean waste". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  38. ^ James, Mitch (25 December 2012). "Golden Goody Award Presented To Anna Cummins At UN Women LA Event". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  39. ^ Styrofoam Cups: From Trash to Fashion. Heal The Bay News Item.
  40. ^ Wilson, Stiv. "Junkraft at Burning Man". The Latest on Plastic Pollution. 5Gyres. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  41. ^ "Surfrider Los Angeles news about upcoming events". Surfriders News. Electronic Music Alliance. Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  42. ^ "Calendar entry for November 9, 2011". Huntington Beach Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  43. ^ a b Alvez, Christian. "Earth Day Report: Springtime Restoration & Creek Cleanup at Ballona". Friends of Ballona Wetlands. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  44. ^ "Resistance As Art: An Environmental & Animal Justice Exhibit". KESQ: CBS Local. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  45. ^ Cummins, Anna. "Marina Debris aka Garbage Girl rocks trash couture in Japan". 5 Gyres. Archived from the original on 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  46. ^ "TRASHion Show: A Success". Ruckus Roots. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  47. ^ "UN Women Special Assembly on Climate Change". SGI Quarterly. n.d. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  48. ^ "Styrofoam Cups: From Trash to Fashion". Heal the Bay. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
  49. ^ Bennett, Sarah (2013-05-03). "Aquarium's Urban Ocean Festival Educates With Trash Fashion, Local Seafood and Art". Long Beach Post. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  50. ^ "UN Women L.A. Chapter to host First General Assembly December 8th". PR Web. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  51. ^ "Environmental Artist Marina DeBris collaborates with the MLC Centre". The MLC Centre. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  52. ^ Miyazaki, Kaoko (17 September 2017). "Marina DeBris' Disposable Truths". Sydney Chic. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  53. ^ "Recycled Coffee Cup Sculpture Highlights Affects Of Everyday Waste". Getty Images. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  54. ^ "Allen's People's Choice Award". Sculpture by the Sea. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  55. ^ "People's Choice Prize". Allens. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  56. ^ "Sydney Water Environmental Sculpture Subsidy for Bondi 2017". Sculpture by the Sea. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  57. ^ Brandy, Daniella (20 October 2017). "23 striking works from this year's Sculpture by the Sea". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  58. ^ Pitt, Helen (23 October 2017). "Artist who picks up marine litter picks up Mayor's prize". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  59. ^ "HELEN LEMPRIERE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT MARINA DEBRIS". Sculpture by the Sea. Retrieved 27 November 2021.

External links[edit]