In 2013 he was one of a group of distinguished artists and scientists invited to join Gyre: The Plastic Ocean. This was the world's first expedition combining art and science to respond to and interpret the global crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans and coasts. 'There isn’t a place on this globe where traces of plastic cannot be found. No longer a mere local problem, but a huge global problem. Plastic waste seems to me to be the ultimate Kristevian abject matter – once desired, then discarded and reviled. Extract © Andy Hughes | Gyre The Plastic Ocean | ISBN-13: 978-1861543554
He has been producing photography and video artworks, from various places such as the beaches of Portugal, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, and Spain, as well as city streets in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Seoul. His artistic practice has been fueled by his interest in plastic for over three decades, as both a subject and object. The very materiality of plastic has permeated every aspect of our lives, making it incomprehensible to humans. Its presence is ubiquitous worldwide, spanning from the deepest oceans to our homes. Plastic's impact can be felt in our atmosphere, food, blood, and the earth itself, as well as other non-human organisms. The complex and pervasive nature of plastic has created an interconnected global system that is challenging to comprehend, and its implications are impossible for any individual to fully grasp
Hughes has been involved in photography for over thirty years, and his interest in Paul Nash was rekindled in 2016 after visiting the Paul Nash exhibit at Tate Britain. Nash's ability to infuse life into non-living things fascinated Hughes. This concept was also explored by Jane Bennet in her book Vibrant Matter, where she suggests that all matter is pulsing with life. Hughes further pursued his passion in the summer of 2018 and 2019 by travelling along the coast from Cornwall through Somerset, Dorset, and the Kent Coast, visiting Hastings and concluding his journey at Dungeness.
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