Pacific Trash Vortex, 2012

Harvest Festival, CERES Community Environment Park, Brunswick East

Collaboration with Aimee Fairman.

 

Pacific Trash Vortex presents a narrative of conflict between the natural and the artificial, destruction and fragility. The former oyster farm ropes were obtained by C.E.R.E.S after being salvaged from a Victorian beach in a mass of tangled knots, where nearby lay the carcass of a dead seal. Following a speculation on the ropes' history, an intuitive process of an attempted slow unravelling of the fused knots instigated the beginning of this collaborative artwork. 

 

Externally, threads of the rigid entanglement were teased out, re-wound and re-anchored, emphasising the residual tension and violent force of the ocean in producing the sculptural nest. 

Internally, a fragile cluster of eggs layered with artificial ‘shells’ composed of plastic debris gathered from the beach, lie upon a woven bed of plastic bags. 

 

Pacific Trash Vortex considers ideas linked to the destructive consequences of human activity on the marine environment, pollution, man-made debris and its effects on wildlife and ecology. 

Skirting issues of an ecological uncertainty, the piece references the new isles growing in the Pacific Ocean formed entirely from plastic bags and rubbish carried, and entwined, by ocean currents. The work encourages the viewer to consider and interpret not only the wider history of humans and the ocean, but also their own relationship with the sea.