Photograph – litter on Dun Canna beach (video to be uploaded shortly)
In total 90 people watched my presentation at Ullapool Museum this week 30 of them braving the Amber Weather warning which was in effect on Monday night for extreme rainfall, gale force winds and high tides. There reward was to be warmly welcomed by the museum staff and to be guided through my years investigation into the beach litter in the area.
Edited photographs and video clips summarised what you can observe on beaches not often cleaned. My residency on Isle Martin allowed me time to map in detail such a beach, the mapping information collected now awaits analysis. The photographic sequence of my activities pieced together the many strands of my enquiry process and I discussed the way that through working with many schools the lack of understanding of ‘how long plastic objects might last’ led me to make a timeline with the pupils and to create ‘ fossils’ which the children found and broke open and became the centre of the ‘Future Fossil Collection’ which has been on display this summer at the museum.
I explained how my love of sharing my work process made it easy to involve the many groups that the audience represented from schools, residents, waste services etc. The process of working together and on creating the artworks such as the ‘Litter Lines’ I hope was enjoyable even if the message was disturbing.
Visibility is a major aim of my project hence the reason I timed towing the ‘Litter Lines’ off Isle Martin to happen on World Environment Day and tried hard to get press coverage, writing up the event for local and regional press. I am still looking to get an article in a National paper.
• use the images & information collected to create dramatic audio visual event that is projected onto harbour installations in ports along the coast, drawing attention to the litter found locally.
• Make installations and short films about particular types of plastic litter that I have found common in the Ross-shire area and which are not often highlighted in marine litter information i.e. melted plastic- gun caps – plastic fragments
• create an interactive litter map and a limited edition of litter identification cards
Audience questions & feedback ranged widely reflecting their shock at the volumes and types of litter found and their encouragement for me to continue to develop the project on and to return with further elements of the work.
On Wednesday morning 60 pupils & teachers from four of the schools involved took seats in the museum gallery with the suspended Golden Eagle exhibit flying down towards the ‘Littoral Exhibition & investigation space’ below. An exciting morning was had in the Museum by all, with much energy & discussion about litter and other Museum exhibits. A perfect conclusion to my work in the Museum this year, encouraging me to continue my links with the Museum and future possible work there. Thank you.