In 2012, I spent a year travelling and photographing plastic debris discarded on Irish beaches. The resulting series Plastic Soup was made with particular reference to the plastic pollution of the Oceans. The Garbage Patches are huge masses of debris, mainly formed from plastic, swirling in the Pacific, North Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Due to the rotation of the Earth and Ocean currents, litter gets trapped in whirlpools forming so called Plastic Soups. Plastic is non-biodegradable but it does break down into smaller polymers creating a bigger problem by becoming available for consumption by the sea life and by birds. The series is comprised of close up images of discarded plastic objects demonstrating the extraordinary work that has been done by the sea to attempt to eliminate this waste. It is obvious from the changes made to this waste matter found on the shoreline of our beaches, that the sea ironically manages to make our unidentifiable litter look sadly beautiful by changing its texture, colour and form. The aim of the series, Plastic Soup, is to provoke a dialogue about ecological awareness and the plastic pollution of our oceans. The project is concerned with the inherent contradiction of aesthetically seductive imagery being produced from the destructive connotations of the plastic products that pollute our oceans.
Installation acquired by Irish State Art Collection. Photographic print on ceramic tiles, various sizes. Handmade book, printed on Curious Papers, edition 1.