The Plastic Flotilla

Rachel Honnery
EXHIBITION  RUNS
   
November
   
24
 -  
December
   
5
There is a challenge for the artist to give expression to social and environmental change. Taking a clear- eyed perspective requires a language that veers neither into environmental activism, nor sentimentality. Science requires that we use an evidence base, and such investigations are at the heart of my approach.

INFORMATION

The ecological force of humans on our planet has resulted in a new epoch: the Anthropocene. Global warming, acidification of oceans, habitat transformation, desertification (through deforestation and over farming), species extinction, elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and decreased oxygen levels have tipped the balance of the earth’s ecosystem and created permanent geological change. With these changes, new environments are formed. The Plastisphere—marine environments that have adapted or transmuted to cope with plastic pollution—is one such environment.

There is a challenge for the artist to give expression to social and environmental change. Taking a clear- eyed perspective requires a language that veers neither into environmental activism, nor sentimentality. Science requires that we use an evidence base, and such investigations are at the heart of my approach.

Yet there is also need for a new aesthetic practice to give expression to these constructs. This involves multidisciplinary art making, including painting, drawing, data documentation, photomedia, installation and recycling. My work seeks a frame in which to make sense of this environmental transmogrification. Using a science fiction lens, I explore possible futuristic landscapes and creatures inhabiting contaminated coastal ecosystems.

New forms of hybrid flora and fauna emerge; mutated corals that are half scleractinian, half plastic, dystopian creatures that remind us of our indifference now and for hundreds of years into the future. Because the irony is that while we rely on plastics for throwaway purposes such as packaging, they can take hundreds of years to break down.

The ecological force of humans on our planet has resulted in a new epoch: the Anthropocene. Global warming, acidification of oceans, habitat transformation, desertification (through deforestation and over farming), species extinction, elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and decreased oxygen levels have tipped the balance of the earth’s ecosystem and created permanent geological change. With these changes, new environments are formed. The Plastisphere—marine environments that have adapted or transmuted to cope with plastic pollution—is one such environment.

There is a challenge for the artist to give expression to social and environmental change. Taking a clear- eyed perspective requires a language that veers neither into environmental activism, nor sentimentality. Science requires that we use an evidence base, and such investigations are at the heart of my approach.

Yet there is also need for a new aesthetic practice to give expression to these constructs. This involves multidisciplinary art making, including painting, drawing, data documentation, photomedia, installation and recycling. My work seeks a frame in which to make sense of this environmental transmogrification. Using a science fiction lens, I explore possible futuristic landscapes and creatures inhabiting contaminated coastal ecosystems.

New forms of hybrid flora and fauna emerge; mutated corals that are half scleractinian, half plastic, dystopian creatures that remind us of our indifference now and for hundreds of years into the future. Because the irony is that while we rely on plastics for throwaway purposes such as packaging, they can take hundreds of years to break down.

FEATURED  WORKS

OTHER  EXHIBITIONS