One artist’s reaction to the problem of plastic waste in our oceans
Rachel Thomson is a London based artist who uses drawing and photography to explore female identity and the environment. She has a BA Hons in Fine Art specialising in Photography and Print Media from the London Institute Central St Martins College of Art and Design.
Her series of photograms, Invasive Medusae, capture plastic bags in a contemporary document of our marine environment. This collection has been published and exhibited internationally and is currently part of The Universal Sea an international EU funded art and innovation project aiming at strengthening creative civil participation against plastic waste in the oceans.
“I often use discarded rubbish and low tech methods of reproduction to create art, as a response to mass production and a wasteful culture. The unfortunate ubiquity of discarded plastic bags made them an obvious subject matter for me. I am fascinated with mimesis in nature – how one species takes on the shape of another to trick its predator or its victim and ultimately to survive. Millions of metric tons of plastic are deposited in the world’s oceans every year. Plastic bags mimic medusa forms and fool sea turtles, fish and whales and other sea creatures into ingesting them, which leads to the animal’s death. I hope my images have that mimetic double-take effect on viewers to draw attention to this dangerous new invasive species we have created. Through exhibiting and working with environmental organisations I aim to strengthen creative civil participation against plastic waste in the oceans.”
You can discover more about Rachel, her work and her exhibitions through her website:
This article first featured in the July 18 issue of Natural Mumma Magazine.
Images by Rachel Thomson.