Pockets of Light uses trash to highlight nature along the Delaware River Waterfront

A series of soft sculptures are newly installed along the Delaware River Waterfront, using post-consumer plastic to recreate natural elements of the waterfront.

Artist Julie Woodard hopes people will notice her Echinacea, Rudbeckia, and Joe Pie Weed shaped out of reclaimed trash and placed in a half-dozen locations between Pier 68 to Race Street Pier — and then notice the real thing growing nearby.

The main location of Woodard’s installation “Pockets of Light” is at Cherry Street Pier, where fixed to a white shipping container is a grid of colorful coneflowers, reflecting the real thing in nearby sidewalk planters, stitched from various plastics.

“There are lids from take-out containers, pedicure flip flops, corks, and lots of broken umbrella pieces,” Woodard said. “I am a self-proclaimed ‘Doula of Discarded Things.’”

Julie Woodard’s flowers, like this echinacea created for ‘’Pockets of Light,’’ are stitched together from repurposed plastic waste. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

“Pockets of Light” is the latest phase of the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s ongoing project to bring sculptural art to the river’s edge. The waterfront arts program has brought big names in the art world to the Delaware River, like the British artist Tracey Emin, along with local artists like Woodard and her collaborator, Eric Dale, aka Eric the Puzzler, who turned “Pockets of Light” into a game. He devised simple puzzles that invite viewers to participate in a scavenger hunt along the river.

  • July 31, 2023
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