Press Release

December 2017  PRESS RELEASE

#CleanBeachesScotland: Exhibition and Event Showing the Prevalence of Plastics on Scottish Beaches.

POST card HOLYROOD front image for MSP's

(Exhibition &  Event sponsored by Joan McAlpine MSP) 

Exhibition: 12th-14th December 2017 The Scottish Parliament Member’s Lobby

Artist Julia Barton has been creatively investigating beach litter with coastal communities, for over 4 years. Thousands of hours spent on beaches has given her an utterly unique insight into the way plastic has become part of our environment, and this exhibition charts her extraordinary process of discovery. Julia’s novel way of widely engaging communities has recently been acknowledged with a 2017 Shetland Environmental Award for her Littoral Art Project work in the isles. It also prompted an invitation to Holyrood to inform MSPs of her observations at the shoreline from the micro to the macro point of view.


Julia will be presenting her Littoral Art Project exhibition to MSP’s for the first time in Holyrood. The #CleanBeachesScotland exhibition will showcase evidence collected from 120 Scottish beaches, highlighting just how much plastics have become part of the environment and the cost this represents to our society. An installation of collected plastics, based on Julia’s recent NEO Terra exhibition shown in both Shetland and the Highlands (link to review), will also inform the event.


Julia and her colleague Sita Goudie from the Shetland Amenity Trust’s Dunna Chuck Bruck Campaign will be sharing their knowledge of what works at a community level, as well as successful projects and initiatives for #CleanBeachesScotland. They will be asking MSPs to pledge action and support to reduce, recover and recycle waste within our economy rather than allow it to leach into the marine environment.

 Next year Julia intends to create giant #LitterCUBES to display in harbours and streets, thereby confronting people with the volume of litter we are facing and the monetary loss to the economy that our plastic pollution represents.  If anyone would like to know more about this, please contact Julia:

Event: 13th December 2017 The Scottish Parliament David Livingston Room

 Julia Barton, in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, will be hosting a #CleanBeachesScotland event at Holyrood to celebrate new and successful ways of tackling marine litter in Scotland and the next steps Scotland needs to take.

This collaborative Sci-Art event is open to MSPs, researchers and invited guests. The #CleanBeachesScotland Exhibition will be on show along with key information displays from:

  • SAMS – Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • SAT – Shetland Amenity Trust
  • FIDRA – Environmental Charity based in East Lothian
  • KIMO – Local Authorities International Environmental Organisation
  • MCS – Marine Conservation Society

Audience members include a wide range of experts – marine biologists, community engagement groups, harbour masters, waste management consultants, ecologists and environmental group representatives from across Scotland, who will be on hand to discuss the issues and explore how we can achieve #CleanBeachesScotland.

Calum Duncan, Head of Conservation Scotland for the Marine Conservation Society has said: ‘Public awareness and media profile of our seas and the threats they face has never been higher. This exciting and timely event will shed light on the dire impacts of marine litter on our beaches and marine wildlife, but will also celebrate some of the ways we’re tackling this problem, and galvanise support for the many actions still needed to clean up our seas.’

Notes to Editors: For more information of the artist’s work visit: Current events and wider lobbying can be followed @LittoralArt  Comments from Julia’s recent exhibitions can be viewed at:

Julia has received Creative Scotland awards supported by The National Lottery for the original Littoral Art Project R&D and NEO Terra exhibition

Further information on the Marine Conservation Society at: 

Further information on the Shetland Amenity Trust:

Dunna Chuck Bruck Facebook page:

May 2017

NEO Terra

NEO Terra. CORD Island J Barton

exhibition by artist Julia Barton       

An Talla Solais Gallery, Ullapool    May 13th – June 18th

Neo Terra is the culmination of four years research and investigation into plastic marine/beach litter by artist Julia Barton. The installation uses less obvious often unrecognised plastic litter ‘Plastiglomerate’ samples collected from the beaches of the North West highlands and Shetland  . The accompanying animation Terra Nova made in collaboration with Shetland film maker JJ Jamieson, illustrates the origins of the Plastiglomerate and the new barren land that the artist visualises if global plastic pollution is not checked.

Visitors are invited to use the interactive area to take a closer look at beach samples collected from littoral zones near them. During the exhibition 60 beach samples will be examined, plastic   particles found will be recorded and displayed. Julia hopes her work will encourage people to take a new look at the scale, nature and consequences of this environmental issue and invites ideas and discussions as to what we can do to tackle it. The information collected both in the Highlands and Shetland will form part of an exhibition in Holyrood in December. Preview clip

Littoral – the zone between the low and the high tide marks

Julia is looking to re-mount the exhibition in new locations/venues and to work with new communities to deliver accompanying educational workshops with organisations/schools in the UK and beyond. Please get in touch with any ideas/collaboration suggestions. The exhibition was first shown in Shetland in 2016 and was made with  support from The National Lottery through Creative Scotland.   West Argyle Street (Ullapool IV26 2UG)


Exhibition: Neo Terra an installation by Artist Julia Barton

Shetland Museum & Archives 8th October – 12 November 2016


The installation Neo Terra, presented as part of the Littoral Art Project, investigates the critical issue of plastic marine and beach litter. Plastic in all its forms is weaving itself into the fabric of the earth’s ecosystems and earth itself, silently burying within because little is being done to prevent or manage it. The stark prediction is it will provide a future legacy and record of our human interaction with the earth – an environmental catastrophe in waiting.

This exhibition is the culmination of 3 years research and development of the Littoral Art Project which is gradually working its way along Scotland’s coastline beginning in Ross-shire and is now visiting Shetland.

Julia spent spring 2016 working with Shetland Amenity Trust, through its Dunna Chuck Bruck anti-litter campaign, delivering a series of specially devised workshops to 15 schools, involving 227 pupils, throughout the islands. The workshops focused on a range of issues related to beach litter, such as sources of litter, the harm it can cause, degradation rates, and micro plastics. During the workshops they identified and collected samples of plastiglomerates

These plastiglomerates make up part of the thousands Julia has collected from 60 beaches around Shetland, they will be constructed into a floor-based installation to become the central part of the Neo Terra exhibition. A stark animation Terra Nova made in collaboration with Shetland film maker JJ Jamieson, will play a key part in the exhibition, illustrating the disturbing nature of these new lands through the exploration of a toy commando.

Sita Goudie, Shetland Amenity Trust Environmental Improvement officer: “Julia’s creative approach really makes you think about this serious environmental issue and how we can all influence the amount of litter entering the marine environment. The workshops she undertook throughout Shetland in the spring really inspired the children and made them look at the litter they pick up as part of the annual Voar Redd Up in another way and question what else they can do about it. I believe the exhibition Julia has produced as a result of this will be memorable for everyone involved in the project and those who visit and engage with the exhibition.”

The exhibition will travel to An Talla Solais Caledonian Gallery, Ullapool in 2017, Edinburgh and internationally. This exhibition has received partial funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Educational workshops where funded through Awards for All with a donation from Zero Waste Scotland
Thanks to: Creative Scotland, National Lottery, An Talla Solais, Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Arts, Isle Martin Trust, Da Gadderie, Ullapool Harbour Trust, Field Studies Council, Marine Conservation Society, North Link Ferries, Collaborators, JJ Jamieson, Dr Phillip Cowie and Sara Nason. With valuable community support.

Contact: Julia Barton T: 07977997605 E:


Press Release    Summer 2016

Artist is collecting & classifying new rock samples in Scotland’s GeoParks

DSCF0119 (3)  plastic rock reveal copy

Artist Julia Barton is presently collecting classifying samples of a new rock now found on beaches in the remotest places on the North West Coast and Shetland, the rocks have become the focus of her Littoral Art Project which is investigating beach litter around Scotland.

Littoral meaning, the zone between the low and the high tide marks.

In 2013 a Canadian geological team named this rock ‘Plastiglomerate’ a category now acknowledged by scientists as a geological marker of our time (the Anthropocene)

These ‘rocks’ lumps of melted plastic are now common on some beaches, as people turn to burning the increasing volumes of plastic waste which accumulates on beaches.

Every year 8 million tonnes of plastic reaches the world’s ocean and 100,000 sharks, turtles, dolphins and whales die from eating plastic.  (Marine Conservation Society MCS)

Plastic Rock

The ‘plastiglomerates are difficult to distinguish from natural beach rocks, and often go un-noticed, each has a unique molecular composition, their toxicity and timeline is unknown.

The ‘rocks’ collected will be used to construct the principal piece of an exhibition opening at Da Gadderie,  Shetland Museum – 8th Oct-12 Nov and at An Talla Solais Caledonian Gallery in May-June 2017

It is intended that the exhibition will then travel to Edinburgh and internationally. Julia is presently producing a ‘Guide to Beach Litter’ to accompany the exhibition.  This exhibition has received part funding from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland Open Project Funding.   


Littoral Art Project was set up in 2013 by artist Julia Barton in response to her fear of drowning in litter which she experienced whilst walking on a beach on the North West coast of Scotland. Since then Julia has surveyed and mapped litter on over 20 Scottish beaches engaging local communities in her interactive investigations some of which can be viewed at

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The aim of the project and exhibition is to encourage understanding of the threat that beach and marine litter presents and to promote change by allowing people to see litter in different ways and consider the long term environmental implications.   

Sarah MacIntyre, Visual Arts Officer at Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to support this project which brings people together to creatively explore one of the most significant environmental challenges of our time. The project reflects the ability of artists to respond to these challenges in interesting and imaginative ways that bring to life global concerns and encourage collective action. We look forward to experiencing the new body of work that is created and wish the artist well in her project.

Rachel Grant exhibitions .     An Talla Solais  We are excited to support Julia in her expedition back to the west coast  where she will begin to collect plastic rock specimens  for constructing  her exhibition from and  filming her animation on Isle Martin . We look forward to showing Julia’s exhibition here in 2017 which will be the culmination of 3 years research & development and successful public engagement along the coast line.  

Jane Outram, Environmental Awareness Officer, Shetland Amenity Trust SAT is keen to begin working with Julia Barton this April. We will be partnering her in delivering an ambitious educational programme alongside working to produce her exhibition at Da Gadderie, Shetland Museum and Archives in the autumn.  Julia’s creative approach really makes you think about this serious environmental issue and how we can all influence the amount of litter entering the marine environment. I believe the work Julia produces will be memorable for everyone involved in the project and those who visit and engage with the exhibition, including Shetland’s young people.

Notes to Editors

Partners: An Talla Solais and Shetland Amenity Trust with significant support and involvement from Shetland Arts, Isle Martin Trust, Da Gadderie, Field Study Council (all of whom are giving cash or in-kind support) with additional support  from Ullapool Harbour Trust, Field Study Commission, Marine Conservation Society, Highland and Island University Collaborators: JJ Jamieson (film maker) Sara Nason (film maker) Dr Phillip Cowie (marine biologist) and Geo-Park Rangers.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit  Follow us @creativescots and

 Contact:    Julia Barton   T: 07977997605 E:

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