Artist Entries – The Universal Sea Awards I

Our EU co-funded project The Universal Sea ran three Open Calls to Artists. A big thank to all artists for their great contributions! Here you can find our Top 100 submissions of our first open call from 2017 as a reference. They were all published in the guidebook from 2019.

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57
Plastic Pelagic
by Georgina Peach
1685
Contest is finished!
https://universal-sea.org/calendar/open-call-application-form?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=1545
57
1685
Title:
Plastic Pelagic

Author:
Georgina Peach

Description:
Plastic Pelagic is an art research project into forcing reassessment of the state of the worlds’ oceans using art. Its message is clear: decades-old plastic waste chokes our once pristine and palatable marine world while our backs are turned. We take the oceans for granted, however the plastic on our shores and increased stranding numbers are clear indicators of a huge problem hidden beneath the waves. Most people are accustomed to living with coastal litter, not realising the urgency or scale of this anthropogenic issue. Plastic Pelagic is highly relevant to 'The Universal Sea: Pure or Plastic?!’ as it provokes viewers with a fresh perspective on marine plastic pollution, encouraging them to take part in the anti-plastic revolution! When creating the artwork, I decided to use gelatin to display the plastic for its dual significance as a proxy for the aquatic environment as well as its conventional culinary usage. Although the beach-sourced plastic is contained in edible gelatin, it itself is unpalatable. The viewer experiences disgust at the idea of consuming plastic and empathises with the fate suffered by many unsuspecting marine organisms who can not differentiate it from food. The inert plastic, which remains on the edge of identifiability hinting at possible past domestic purposes, rests suspended in the gelatin as though in the ocean: It will not vanish without intervention and can no longer be ignored!
Description:
Plastic Pelagic is an art research project into forcing reassessment of the state of the worlds’ oceans using art. Its message is clear: decades-old plastic waste chokes our once pristine and palatable marine world while our backs are turned. We take the oceans for granted, however the plastic on our shores and increased stranding numbers are clear indicators of a huge problem hidden beneath the waves. Most people are accustomed to living with coastal litter, not realising the urgency or scale of this anthropogenic issue. Plastic Pelagic is highly relevant to 'The Universal Sea: Pure or Plastic?!’ as it provokes viewers with a fresh perspective on marine plastic pollution, encouraging them to take part in the anti-plastic revolution! When creating the artwork, I decided to use gelatin to display the plastic for its dual significance as a proxy for the aquatic environment as well as its conventional culinary usage. Although the beach-sourced plastic is contained in edible gelatin, it itself is unpalatable. The viewer experiences disgust at the idea of consuming plastic and empathises with the fate suffered by many unsuspecting marine organisms who can not differentiate it from food. The inert plastic, which remains on the edge of identifiability hinting at possible past domestic purposes, rests suspended in the gelatin as though in the ocean: It will not vanish without intervention and can no longer be ignored!
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