Plastic Art!

How do we best highlight the problems that plastic pollution is causing? We hear in the news every week another horror story of wildlife killed and maimed, poisons and toxins in the microplastics which are now in our food chain, bottled water containing plastic and now that it is likely to be contributing to climate change.

My work has been part of an incredible art show in Kingsand, Cornwall organised by Claire Wallerstein of Rame Peninsula Beach Care who has done so much wonderful work in highlighting marine plastic pollution locally. Rob Arnold (artist) has developed a machine to separate the plastic fragments from sand and displayed a lunar landscape of over 8 million tiny pellets of microplastics that had been collected from the same 100m stretch of local beach in just 18 months. These include nurdles (pre-production plastic pellets used by the plastics industry), and ‘bio-beads’ (biofilters used to treat wastewater by water companies and in other industrial processes). These have somehow spilled into our rivers and seas. The bio-beads can be particularly toxic, often containing poisonous chemicals e.g. lead.

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Over 8 million nurdles and bio-beads
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Rob Arnold’s gigantic Easter Island Head covered in a mosaic of beach-combed plastic from the same site as the plastic pellets
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Liz Franklin and volunteers made ‘John Dory’ from nurdles and bio-beads
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Close up of ‘John Dory’
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‘Brain Dead’ (by myself) caused considerable interest. It is extruded plastic mounted on a slab of black granite in an empty fish tank.
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Aerial view of ‘Brain Dead’

I also showed prints and other framed work in which I utilised plastic:

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Fossil of the Anthropocene
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The plastic stems of cotton buds… endangering wildlife for centuries
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Made by Liz Franklin with volunteers, reflecting our plastic world
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Beautiful dresses adorned with found plastic by Mariana which each tell a story
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Cable tie Guillemot
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Sweetie jars of beach-combing finds
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On the steps of the Clock Tower with some of the chain of plastic bottle tops

This show deserves to be seen by a wider audience!

See: Rame Peninsula Beach Care for more information 

 

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