Gyre: The Plastic Ocean exhibition explores the relationship between humans and the ocean in a contemporary culture of consumption. For decades artists have created works that address the relationship between community and environment. In the later part of the 20th century, artists gave a voice to the environment. Artists such as Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and others became interested in the social value of art.
Funded by: Anchorage Museum Association, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation Giles W. and Elise G. Mead Foundation, Leonard and Tannie Hyde, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Endowment for the Arts, North American Marine Environment Protection Association, Ocean Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Wells Fargo The William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
This exhibition featured the work of two photographers, Andy Hughes and Chris Jordan, whose works explore the phenomenon of American consumerism and its environmental impact. Andy Hughes' work focuses on the accumulation of garbage washed up on the shores where he surfs. Chris Jordan's composite photos explore the "pervasiveness of our consumerism." These visually compelling and provocative works serve as a back drop for the sometimes challenging relationship between man and his environment.
Royal Geographic Society 2017
Two parallel worlds, many thousands of miles apart, and each with its own particular relationship with the material which has rapidly come to define the modern age: plastic. On one side, the remnants of a Festival depict an almost apocalyptic scene: piles of garbage, dirt fields scattered with crushed plastic bottles, bags, balloons, single use cups, and cheap, disposable furniture. A column of polystyrene fast food containers piled high, emerging triumphantly from a packed litter bin, while the bright lights of the festival’s famous music scene beam away in the background. On the other, the lush greenery of rural Africa. An elderly lady pours water from a small stream into a number of large plastic carrying containers. A child thrusts a dirty plastic bottle, covered in grit but very much intact, towards the camera. And, in the larger urban centres, enormous landfills surrounded by circling birds show where many single use plastics end up on the continent, entire streets packed to bursting with colourful bags full of plastic waste.
Following on from Making Time in 2014, Photo-Pioneer will show work by William Arnold, Melanie King, Andy Hughes and Oliver Raymond-Barker.
From William Arnold’s beautiful sequence of cameraless botanical prints to Melanie King’s astronomical cyanotypes that ‘draw from the heavens’; from Andy Hughes iconic Plastic Photo-Totem to Oliver Raymond-Barker’s visceral prints exploring the nature of stone - this show is an exploration into landscape and the material potential of photography. It will be a rare chance to see contemporary photography in Cornwall and is part of an ongoing concern to develop new audiences and opportunities for the photographic arts within the county.
Making Time is a photographic art collective based in Cornwall interested in the engagement of science, ecology and history in contemporary photo practice.
The aim of the group through research, exhibitions and workshops is to act as a catalyst for future development in Cornwall, engaging both artists and the wider community to provide a platform of support for photographic arts.
The group formed in 2014 and that autumn presented its inaugural exhibition Making Time: New Photographic Constructions at the historic Penwith Society gallery in St.Ives. An exhibition of South West based photographic artists: William Arnold, Hannah Guy, Nicholas Hughes, Andy Hughes and Oliver Raymond-Barker, the show demonstrated the breadth and diversity of the contemporary photographic medium. Each artist’s work is informed by an exploration of contemporary issues such as: the hybridization of analogue and digital, the engagement of science and ecology in the practice of image making and the manifold histories of photography.
“The importance of beauty and the enjoyment of a wave, of nature vs. the economy facts and the short term development. The utopian vision of an alternative future vs the contra la razón impuesta de una modernidad irracional" - Gibus de Soultrait introduction to Surf, Civilization and Barbarism.
From Jack McCoy´s personal collection of his first photos in Uluwatu, where a virgin headland is a painful contrast to today´s chaotic development, the juxtaposition of Kai Neville´s excerpt from Dear Suburbia of the Japanese rivermouth perfection to Taishi Hirokawa´s nuclear plants, the man vs nature section which starts with Ron Stoner´s 2 photos of Killer Dana before and after the marina is built, the Superbank´s perfection created by the artificial pumping of sand, Wavegarden´s example of man replicating nature as a recurrent theme in mankind… to the virgin beauty of both Bruno Garrudo´s landscapes and finally Punta de Lobos that can be preserved of radical use of cement…. Hanging on the walls works from artists Taishi Hirokawa, Alan Van Gysen, Andy Huges, Bruno Garrudo, Craig Peterson, Jack McCoy, Iker Basterretxea, Kai Neville, Pablo Ugartetxea, Rodrigo Farias or Patrick Trefz, among 27 other participant artists.