Big Aim …..

…all around the UK this week thousands of people who care about the marine environment have been spending time on beaches to count the thousands of pieces of litter  on each beach in order to help MCS to build a much needed detailed picture of the state of our beaches and to carry out beach cleans.

breckon-beachBreckon Sands

On such a week I feel privileged to  have visited four award winning beaches on Shetland cared for by local communities and visitors.

Two beaches,  Breckon Sands and West Sandwick , which I hadn’t visited before on Yell  where both stunningly beautiful and incredibly clean . I relished the experience of being able to let my eyes wander across the strandline enjoy and splash zones un-interrupted by litter. Joy !

west-sandwick-beachWest Sandwick

My trip north was a great treat in the middle of preparing for the Littoral Art Project exhibition. An  expedition to collect beach samples (both sand and Plastiglomerates from  coastlines in areas I previously hadn’t visited.  All samples  are now being processed ready for inclusion in the Neo Terra installations .

pund-beach-2Pund Beach                                                                                                                                                                   T    Sadly 10kg of plastiglomerates were collected and carried out from Pund beach,  a remote beach that has today been surveyed for the MCS Beachwatch. We hope the survey we did is the start of building a detailed record of the state of beach litter  here in Shetland over coming years .

I hope the work I am creating using the samples collected from over 60 beaches  will engage people and stimulate discussions to find  ways of reducing  discarded waste materials, to find more sustainable ways  to avoid the increasing destruction of our marine and coastal environments. exhibition-preparation

Processing materials for inclusion in Neo Terra  installation.

Exhibition opens at noon on  Saturday Oct 8th . Da Gadderie, Shetland Museum & Archives All welcome!

Making….

…. the process of making work for the exhibition has steadily been taking place over the last month in a series of places across the country.

Drawing and configuring island plans for my archipelago map and filming micro-plastics  at Wasps Studios in Edinburgh

Collecting & photographing litter items on the Firth of Forth beaches. The Guide to Beach Litter will be launched at an interactive educational event during the exhibition.

Modelling and photographing my toy commando in Borders 128 changes and shots were made to produce a short stop frame sequence for the exhibition animation.

Moldmaking and casting wax replicas of beach litter and the toy commando in the well equipped mixed media workshop at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop

Canvas dying experiments took place this week with friends at An Talla Solais in Ullapool. Scaling up the dying process revealed  difficulties in maintaining the consistent colour I want to achieve, an Ordanance Survey sea blue. Taking this liitation on board the canvas/map will now be made in a time honoured reliable way using paint

The final making stage  of this exhibition work will begin tomorrow when I arrive back in Shetland, where I will be delighted to take up my place as Artist in Residence at Sumburgh Head Lighthouse.

Post written while I wait to board the MVHrossey  from Orkney. Thanks to North Link Ferries support towards my passage.  The show opens on 8th October at Da Gadderie Lerwick Museum and Archives and runs until 12th November.