An art exhibit called Vanishing Point takes on the problem of ocean plastic pollution and how it’s harming marine animals such as birds, turtles, and seals. So it’s fitting that the show is on display (through June) at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania.
The artworks are collaborations between artists and scientists, who hope the show will spur visitors to reduce the plastic in their lives and help clean up the rest.
“A fundamental reason for putting together this exhibition was to highlight the issues,” said participating artist Sophie Carnell in an email, “but importantly to educate people that every small change they make in regard to their plastic usage can and will help the problem.”
Carnell’s works for the exhibit transform plastic debris into objects of beauty: jewelry comprising ocean plastic trash, recycled silver, and Australian or “repurposed” gemstones.
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“Incorporating this ‘waste’ into precious objects also highlights what we view as precious and what we view as disposable,” Carnell says in the exhibit’s catalog. “If we treasure materials we use every day and better consider what happens after we are finished with them, perhaps we would bestow them and our shared living environment with more value.”
Here are the jewelry objects Carnell created out of scavenged ocean plastic for Vanishing Point, along with the views of IMAS marine scientists Heidi Auman, Patti Virtue, and Frederique Olivier on how the flood of plastic trash is harming marine life.