1 April - 25 June 2023
The Rise and Fall of Plastic in our Modern World
Plastics are all around us – from food packaging to household items to intricate technical and lifesaving devices. In the space of 100 years, these versatile, durable, and cheap materials have come to dominate much of our material world.
However, these positive attributes of plastic also underlie the vast problems it is now causing our societies and our planet. Plastic’s versatility means that it is used in almost every field of manufacturing, from “paper” cups to electronic components. Its durability means that it takes years to break down in the environment. Its cheapness means that it is easier to make new plastic than to gather and re-use existing plastic, or to use biodegradable alternatives. Plastic waste is now a serious threat to the life of our seas and oceans – we need to turn the tide on plastic now.
This exhibition explores the rising tide of plastic in our lives, from its early promise, to the veneration of its “space-age” possibilities, to its current ubiquity and fall from grace as environmental pollution.
Incorporated within the display are two artistic responses to plastic waste in the oceans:
- Climate Change: The Plastic Age a sculpture made of found materials by Gail McGregor
- It Ends Up on Our Beach a series of photographs by Graham James of plastic collected by Christine Keay