I have lived beside the mighty Atlantic Ocean in Cornwall for more than forty years,and it been an inspiration and a source of materials for much of my work.
Back in the eighties ,the shoreline was littered with more plastic than driftwood and I was prompted by this constant pollution to create a collection of masks,creatures and costumes from this plastic tide.I exhibited these items in a series of exhibitions in public art galleries throughout the next two decades, culminating in several series of site specific public performances sponsored by the Tate Gallery ST Ives.
Collaborating closely with director Bill Mitchell, and the well known Cornish Theatre Group “Kneehigh” we invented a series of outdoor theatre productions on beaches and clifftops about marine pollution.
The storyline ,the sets, some of the characters and most of the costumes were all made from plastic detritus collected on location The theme “GHOST NETS” was a story about the present and future dangers to marine life and our environment.
FORTY years later,the problem is still very apparent, despite the considerable efforts of many concerned people and organisations. Marine pollution has become MUCH worse
Plastic disintegrates very slowly (400years)but remains just as toxic to most life forms even when reduced to tiny fragments. Micro-plastic particles are found on every beach world wide.DR Erk Zetterin a respected microbiologist describes in his 2013 book”Life in the Plastisphere”,evidence of active hydrolysis of hydrocarbon polymer….
EG. life in the form of bacteria that can eat plastic!?
The pollution monsters I assembled from the seashore, ,have been replaced by an infinitely more dangerous pollution, a very real monster that is growing bigger everyday !It is estimated that the amount of plastic pollution will triple by 2020.
WE MUST FIND A WAY TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM NOW!