My current subject of contextual research is nature. I went on a walk through the canal, photographing anything that shows the connection and/or co-existence of man kind and nature. When taking these photos, I kept in mind my concept of nature binding with man made objects, as well as environmental issues.

I really like this photograph because of the composition and the way the houses are positioned at the vanishing point where the grass and sky meet. I also like how the man made architecture blends in so well with the grass and fields and the steps that have weeds growing out of them, showing that the time they’ve been there is enough time for nature to have grown and moulded around them.

These photos are linked to the next part of my research; which is focusing on environmental issues, particularly plastic pollution people have caused and the idea that humanity should work with nature rather than against (destroying) it.

This is a twinwall pipe put in place a while ago, presumably to strength the ground for a public pathway. You can see that the earth and leaves have grown around it, showing how nature forms around what we put in it. This is linked to my research into Andy Goldsworthy and his idea of creating artwork that will eventually become a part of nature. As this pipe is plastic, my opinion is that this is a negative alternative to what Andy Goldsworthy has produced, however, it links in nicely with plastic pollution and how it’s impacting the earth. Some man made things have a positive impact on the world; for example, from an architectural point of view, bridges and castles that have plants growing out of them a very interesting. Some man made concepts are beneficial for the environment. For example, man made composting is quicker than the earth’s natural composting process and promotes natural growth of plants.

Plastic pollution – the environment:

Plastic harms many ecosystems and millions of animals every year, whether it be through entanglement or ingestion of plastic in plants or their prey. Microplastics are the most deadly, and have been ingested by more than a hundred aquatic species, including fish, shrimp, and mussels. The threat of microplastics is so high because they follow through the food chain. For example, if fish consume microplastics, the octopus that eats (many of) those fish consumes a larger amount, therefore the shark or human even, that eats that octopus (or many octopuses) will then consume even more microplastics until it becomes deadly. Plastics are also being consumed by land animals, as well as causing damage to animal’s reproductive systems, meaning they could be at risk for extinction.

Plastic pollution is one of the main reasons humanity has a divide with nature. When we consider ourselves a part of nature, we realise that our destruction of nature will end up destroying ourselves, as a part of nature too, because nature relies on itself to survive. In the same way, we rely on plants and animals to survive, as well as the oxygen and land the earth provides. With the destruction of the natural world, we will destroy ourselves in the process. Plastic has the potential to carry pathogenic microbes that could damage sea life as it passes through since plastic is virtually indestructible. When left, plastic will get smaller, but never disappear completely, which is a scary fact.



The world’s plastic pollution crisis explained.

Written by Laura Parker.