Discarded plastic is a rising concern surfacing on Pacific beaches, thanks to a large churning trash accumulations the size of Texas that wash ashore. Almost 90 percent of floating marine debris is plastic. Due to its durability, buoyancy, and ability to accumulate and concentrate toxins present in the ocean, plastic is especially harmful to marine life [via CCC].
I had the pleasure of seeing artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang at the Newseum and it was inspiring to hear their passion for collecting this beach plastic and turning it into curated collections as art.
As the artists describe on their website:
“[We] have been visiting 1000 yards of Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Sea Shore. We have rambled this one remote beach hundreds of times to gather plastic debris washing out of the Pacific Ocean. By carefully collecting and “curating” the bits of plastic, we fashion it into works of art— art that matter-of-factly shows, with minimal artifice, the material as it is. The viewer is often surprised that this colorful stuff is the thermoplastic junk of our throwaway culture. As we have deepened our practice we’ve found, like archeologists, that each bit of what we find opens into a pinpoint look at the whole of human culture. Each bit has a story to tell.”
[images via Beach Plastic]