Rust is a short documentary profiling the work of sculptor Mariola Wawrzusiak-Borcz. She uses scrap metal to create sculptures of animals, insects and the natural world.

Mariola is driven by a love of nature. She loves to go out camping, exploring the wilderness with her dogs. In recycling metal waste into art, there is an environmental purpose as well as an artistic one. Mariola wants to highlight that our constant cycle of consumption and waste is impacting our natural life systems. That we throw this rusted metal away, but there is no ‘away’.

The animals in her sculptures are typically alert, or frightened, perhaps going into a defensive stance. Again it reflects the intrusion of human impact, the reaction of the natural to the unnatural, these living beings made now from processed material.

It’s also a message about mortality. This metal is already rusted out, thrown away as worthless. We have taken all these resources out of the earth, all to produce an item which we are discarding in a few short years. It is a blink in the timescale of the ancient earth. And we, as people and a species, are also but a blink. What legacy do we want to leave? As we rust, rot and fade, do we want the mark we leave to be a world filled with junk, a permanently damaged biosphere?

Mariola considers there to be both a beauty and an ugliness in her sculptures, as there is in mankind. The least we can do with all the waste we are littering the world with is turn it into art. Leave it like the cave paintings when we are gone. I imagine her birds and wolves surrounded by green in our absence, like totems of old gods.

Really interesting film, short but substantive.