The Witches Knickers Project
February 5-9, 2018
A workshop of Kinvara Area Visual Arts, this week-long project involved ten artists addressing the phenomena of single-use plastic and its impact on the environment. Working individually and in collaboration, we created both in and out of The Courthouse Gallery in Kinvara. On the last day of the studio portion of the workshop, we invited area high school students in to view the works in progress and to hear what they have to say. Concluding the project was an exhibition at The Russell Gallery in New Quay February 17th through March 3rd.
My initial thoughts were that we no longer have a connection to our litter once it leaves our hands. That lack of connection makes it easier to ignore the impact that litter makes. One of the things I am doing is to help us re-connect to those individual pieces of plastic that are abandoned and left for others to take care of. The first part is to adopt these objects as our social media profile images to draw curious attention to the issue of the impact of single-use plastic, and to attach an identity to these anonymous survivors. Finally, I wanted to see the results of what one person working for one hour to clean up the shore might be.
These small paintings were conceived as studies/portraits of these individual objects in order to name them and give them an identity. In this way, our connection to them can be re-imagined. They are all watercolor and graphite on paper, and floated in upcycled charity shop frames. Total dimensions vary from piece to piece, but the paper size is 10" x 7" and the image area is approximately 8" x 5".
Social Media Icons
These images are photos of objects I and other participants pulled from the shore on our initial expedition. Feel free to use them on your social media profiles. Alter them, if you like. Or make your own. Heaven knows there's enough source material. Then, let's see how far they drift across the internet.
I wanted to see the result of one person working one hour to pick up plastic refuse on a beach. The shore at Rinville Park in Oranmore was every bit as littered as the beach we visited at the beginning of the project. I picked up every piece of plastic I saw, from very large tarps to tiny bits of wrappers and single strands of nylon. The results were a clean patch approximately two meters wide from above the waterline to the brush at the top of the shore. And this was only what I could see, as the shore was quite deeply covered with decaying seaweed.