These works were developed from Circularity l - Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, Anchorage Museum, 2014.
The cyclic narrative of the Pacific Gyre is driven by immense oceanic global systems much greater in period than human industrial processes. Our cognition of the disposal and dispersal of human debris is founded partly by photographic recorded evidence and that of narratives based upon systematic scientific investigation. Oceanic currents disperse our petrochemical utilitarian objects of desire ultimately making their way back to the shoreline. The forces at work shift and move huge volumes of water and waste materials around the globe. Circulatory systems such as those in the human body, as well as patterns seen in nature and mathematics have inspired artists for centuries. Virgin wilderness as once explored by artists and scientists now seems lost, the post-Darwinian world seems perhaps by some as devoid of mystery, whilst for others, there is still much beauty to experience in a complex and varied world in which we exist along with other forms of life on earth.
The objects observed in the works by Hughes avoid metaphors associated with spewing, destruction, dystopian and over consumptive scenarios, rather he attempts to displace these with new ones, plastic objects become religious orbs which float and inhabit both sky and earth, beach and sea. These floating objects might bring to mind ‘UFO’ sightings, are they visionary objects from the past, present or the future? For many of us they are recognisable as food and drink containers, fishing debris, maybe play objects or toys, or any item from the cacophony of millions of plastic products.
Rejected material is made visible and set against majestic landscape and seascapes. Plastic is a creation of human beings, Hughes photographs speak of this beauty of creativity and directs one to consider the notion of our relationships with its materiality. These images combine works created on the Gyre Expedition and data collected via 3-D and mapping applications along the coastline of Cornwall, England, thereby connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean.
All texts and images © Andy Hughes | Further work from this project will be online in 2022
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