Today artist’s working across the Arctic are coming together to share their work at the 2017 RELATE NORTH Symposium at the University of Lapland, Rovaniem – while I am sadly unable to be there a piece of my work from my NEO Terra exhibition will be on exhibit alongside those of artists working in Finland, Canada, Scotland, Alaska, Russia, Somi Republic, Norway and Sweden.
The piece I have sent is one of my #LitterCUBES, made from plastic particles collected from along the strandlines of Shetlands beaches during my residency there in 2016.
#LitterCUBE 2016 – is a compressed assemblage of mixed polymers Polyethylene terephthalate [PE-PET -PETE] Compressed assemblage 5 x 5 x 5 cm.
In 2014, Rachel W. Obbard recorded 38 – 234 particles of microplastics per cubic metre of Arctic ice. Globalwarming releases microplastic legacy in Arctic Sea ice
52 of the 60 beach sand/substrate samples I collected from Shetland contained plastic particles . Many of the strandlines were thick with plastic fibres and particles. In extreme instances the fibres & particles mound up metres deep – the link to their source ropes/nets/cord of the commercial fishing industry is plain to see.
The consequences of such pollution are thankfully increasingly being monitored by scientists like Obbard. And marine biologists like Winnie Courtene-Jones who are researching and documenting the effects of micro-plastics on invertebrates in the Deep Sea. Plastic has been ingested by marine organisms as small as Sand-hoppers and Algae at the bottom of the food chain . The consequences of this pollution is ironically massive for the fishing industry . Below are a few of the creative community workshop images envisaging the issue of plastic fibres taken on during my project.
My visual essay of my work in Shetland is being published by the University of Lapland Press this week and will shortly be available on-line.
Shetland’s Littoral Zones: An art-science project revealing the legacies of plastic pollution on beaches in the north of Scotland.consequences of plastic leaking into Northern ecosystems.
Footnote RELATE NORTH – Art and Design for Education and Sustainability 2017 EXHIBITION runs from 12th November – 30th November 2017 Thematic Network on Arctic Sustainable Arts and Design: http://www.asadnetwork.org University of the Arctic: http://www.uarctic.org/