Over the past few weeks I have been testing out potential support in new coastal locations where I intend making a number of my #LitterCUBES next year.
Invitations from the Hippodrome arts venue in Eyemouth and the Angus Coastal Festival led me to share my entangled arts/science journey with marine litter in illustrated talks over the past few weeks, in a gallery and during practical workshops on the beaches. Over 100 interested residents eagerly asked questions about my findings and were keen to talk through local beach litter issues, e.g. takeaway food litter in Eyemouth and broken Creel components in Angus- all were concerned about the volume of fishing litter washed up and intrigued to talk through my idea of making big #LitterCUBES out of litter specific to their coast line.
Such informal interactive events like these are at the core of my work. An Eyemouth resident after studying my working drawings (below) showing how I will calculate the energy loss that a CUBE represents, in terms of litres of petrol – suggested I also calculate the loss of energy in terms of calories. A great suggestion especially for younger members of the the public i.e. this CUBE has the same energy as ’50 fish suppers’
In addition to ideas and offers of help, many donations were made to my Just Giving #LitterCUBE appeal, which has today reached £1,314. I still need to raise another £686 so please pass on the link to as many people as you can. Take a look at the appeal video showing one of the making processes. Thank you to everyone who has donated!
I am available and happy to give illustrated talks and run close examination beach workshops to groups in return for a fee/donation towards making the 30 sculptures in 2019 Please get in touch. I took the project story south to Anglesey last week and made interesting coastal connections with Bangor U3A & Friends of The Anglesey Coastal Path
To make a series of 30 large sculptures #LitterCUBES from plastic beach litter collected from shorelines around Scotland in 2019, to show the link between plastic and oil. I want to engage people in weighing the #LitterCUBES to calculate how many litres of petrol each CUBE represents .
Donations of any amount are welcomed to start the fundraising to make the sculptures, so we can visualise the true cost of plastic pollution. Visit myJust-Givingcrowd funding page to learn more and to donate.
Click below to listen to a Podcast explaining the background to the #LitterCUBES
There are limited edition prints of small # LitterCUBE surfaces to win.
Please pass on the Just Giving link and leave suggestions of how to promote the appeal. Thank you!
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the exhibition runs until Sun 23 Sept 2018
My work MARINE PLASTIC OF SCOTLAND [Lothian] littoralis: belonging to the shoreline, is on display at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It is a collection of common plastic litter items found along Edinburgh’s shoreline. Their classification and display reflecting the herbarium’s taxonomy and preservation techniques. The analogy of colonising species echoes plastic’s living origin – oil.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh opening times: 10.00 am — 5.45 pm Venue:John Hope Gateway , free entry.
Please visit the exhibition, take a closer look and let me know what you think.
I would like to thank all people involved from Shetland who helped Littoral Sci Art Project win a Shetland Environmental Award 2017
As communities across Shetland tackle the annual spring ‘Da Voar Redd Up’ Beach Cleans, I am happy to share a recent Radio Shetland broadcast on #PlasticPollution featuring a report with Sita Goudie the Shetland Amenity Trust Environmental Improvement officer in which she describes Littoral Art Project’s educational work across Shetland in 2016.
Click here to listen >
This year’s awards were sponsored by Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, Shetland Islands Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Shetland Civic Society, VisitScotland, Shetland Bird Club and Shetland Amenity Trust. The awards plaques were sponsored and supplied by Cunningsburgh based Enviroglass, which recycles Shetland’s waste glass.
Close Examination ULLAPOOL FERRY TERMINAL Fri 23 March 7.30 pm
An investigative performance by S3 Ullapool High School pupils in collaboration with artist Julia Barton as part of the Littoral Art Project, telling the research journey that we have undertaken along Ullapool Harbour shoreline over the last few years.
Opens at 7.30pm for viewing the display of the Littoral Art Project findings recently exhibited at the Scottish Parliament. Plus updates on actions being taken to Beat Plastic Pollution by the Harbour’s Fishing for Litter Scheme and Ullapool Primary School’s ‘No Plastic Straw Campaign’. Performance starts 8pm – lasting approximately 30 mins.
Winter snowfalls are providing a welcome respite from seeing strand-line plastic – allowing time for focusing on the natural forms of familiar Northern shorelines. One of the lowest tides this winter took place on the 2nd February- allowing access to see some of the biggest and heaviest of our marine algae – Laminaria (Kelp) beautifully bowed over, shiny and relaxed in the slack water . The ‘stand of the tide’ provided me the opportunity for a few hours observation of these brown seaweeds. Close up its easy to appreciate that they produce the main plant material for the coastal food web. Anchored along the low water line and out into the sub-tidal zone the submerged kelp form ‘forests’ – a perfect habitat for fish, shellfish and other animals to get food and find hiding places. The rich biodiversity of our coastline is fascinating and clear to see when walking through this dynamic inter-tidal world/zone .
As the media begins to wake up to the ‘Plastic Pollution’ issue evidenced on our shore lines, I revel in my momentary ‘Plastic Free’ time in the Littoral Zones
reinvigorated by many winter walks in this rich dynamic environment I am preparing to seek out support for my work – to visually tell the story of this important ecological CONTACT ZONE that is now constantly battered and often smothered by our litter.
I am looking for online help to crowd fund for the next phase of this project focusing on making work in public settings this year, to be toured to Harbours, Ports, Museums, Street Festivals next year. Please get in touch if you can offer any help by leaving a comment below or emailing me Julia Barton firstname.lastname@example.org
31 MSPs pledged to take action on plastic pollution by signing at #CleanBeachesScotland exhibition & event at Holyrood in December 2017. I created the exhibition based on my recent NEO Terra installation shown in both Shetland & Ullapool, to illustrate to MSP’s the scale of coastal & marine plastic pollution in Scotland.
Of the MSPs who signed, 50% ticked all of the pledges demonstrating a personal commitment to backing measures to reduce the amount of plastic that contaminates our beaches and sea. 63% are keen to meet with Littoral Art Project to take a closer look at plastic pollution along their constituency shorelines. We will meet local beach cleaning groups (Marine Conservation Society MCS , Surfers Against Sewage SAS and Harbourmasters to learn more about specific beach litter issues in their constituency and to enrol them in becoming Beach Champions.
Photographs by Alan McCredie
Joan McAlpine MSP joined me at Dunbar in her South Scotland constituency, to examine the particular litter issues concerning the Dunbar Harbour Trust as a multi-use Harbour and to take a sand sample from the regularly cleaned south beach.
The exhibition and event received wonderful cross-party support from MSPs, including Graeme Day convener of the Environment, Climate & Land Reform Committee with interesting conversations with many members of the committee. Environment spokesperson for the SL Claudia Beamish who attended the event, later commented in a Parliamentary Debate on the 20th December that “it was truly inspiring to see what art can do to support communities and others in their work on the issue”Roseanna Cunninghamresponded in the debate that ‘……The work of the organisations that the member flagged up is incredibly important, and it needs to be backed up by Government and global action…….’
Thanks to Mark Ruskell, Environmental spokesperson for the Scottish Green Party, for his time to hear about Littoral Art Project’s findings and to talk through the value of LAP’s citizen science approach. He outlined his commitment to rigorous debate about plastic pollution and the connection to climate change legislation. I look forward to following up his links to Fife environment and arts education organisations.
I will also be contacting the other MSP’s interested in bringing the LAP to their constituencies ( Joan McAlpine in South Scotland, Rachael Hamilton in the Borders, Kate Forbes in Skye, Liam McArthur and Jamie Halcro Johnston in Orkney ) and to explore the potential of this creative approach to engage their communities in tackling #MarinePlasticPollution as in Shetland and Ullapool where people joined me in collecting and examining beach samples.
The results of this interactive arts-cum science approach formed the photographic evidence shared with MSPs and is available to share with councils and community groups.
Following on from the success of the Holyrood exhibition, the Shetland Amenity Trust and I will be requesting a meeting with Scotland’s Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham. I intend to pass on the LAP research from 120 beaches and the findings of partner organisations, community groups and individuals that took part in the #CleanBeachesScotland event co-hosted by MCS , with major contributers KIMO, SAT, FIDRA, SAMS ). I will be highlighting the extent of plastic pollution originating from the fishing and aquaculture industries, which often makes up to 90% of litter on Northern Scottish beaches and are often under mentioned .
We welcome the recent Scottish Government’s announcement to legislate against environmentally damaging items:
The positive response of so many MSPs during the #CleanBeachesScotland event and the Scottish Governments environmental announcements give hope to all those working to #BeatPollution in Scotland. These are great achievements that need to be actioned and broadened to include the fishing & aquaculture industry’s plastic pollution as soon as possible, so that Scotland can truly be seen to be leading the way internationally towards achieving a cleaner more sustainable environment.
Please follow up with your MSP e.g. suggest helping to bring the project to their constituency. If you/your organisation/group has evidence of plastic pollution on a stretch of the Scottish coastline please leave a comment below or email me so I can include it in the #CleanBeachScotland document that I will present to the Environment Minister.
Please follow the progress of the Littoral Art Project by pressing the blue FOLLOW button on the left and follow on twitter @LittoralArt
Help to support this research-art-action project to continue, develop and to reach more communities by making a donation. Press the orange DONATE button on the left. Thankyou
Julia has received Creative Scotland awards supported by The National Lottery for the original Littoral Art Project R&D and NEO Terra exhibition that led to this exhibition. The #CleanBeachesScotland exhibition was self-funded by the artist.