Sunday, 4 May 2008

Rubbish as an Artform

I don't normally blog during the weekend, but I just couldn't wait to share the details of a fantastic art exhibition that I visited today, entitled "Walking to save some sea", by Suffolk artist Fran Crowe.

The exhibition is inspired by a 2006 UN report, which revealed that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter per square mile of ocean, causing the death of over 100,000 mammals and turtles and over one million seabirds.

On learning this Fran Crowe decided to "save one square mile of ocean" by collecting 46,000 pieces of litter, over a period of a year, whilst walking along local beaches. The rubbish, which weighs a third of a tonne, is now used in her exhibition to portray what she describes as "an accessible but unflinching self-portrait of our society".

As you'll see from some of the photos below, her work is fascinating, with carefully laid-out materials providing thought-provoking content through beautiful form.

Look closely at the images and you will see all sorts of things including plastics, metals, balloons, polystyrene as well as broken toys, paintbrushes and lots of other odds and ends.

The exhibition was set within the walls of the ancient monument Landguard Fort in Felixstowe, providing a very interesting background against which to curate an installation such as this. The combination of the two is sheer genius.

So if you've got nothing to do this Bank Holiday Monday and you fancy a trip to see the exhibition in Felixstowe, then you are in luck because Monday 5th May is its last day. It really is a worthwhile visit.

However, if it's not within your reach and you would still like to find out more, then please pop along to Fran's website at

The exhibition really did have an instant effect. We took the foot ferry to Harwich afterwards and went exploring on the beach. I couldn't help but notice the amount of rubbish dotted around the shore, including a couple of fizzy drinks cans that had just been left on the sand. The nearest bin was only 20 metres away, less that a minute walk away. It's a pity whoever left the cans couldn't see it!


Joyce said...

Thanks for posting this. I passed it on to my son, who is an artist. Very effective installation!


Hi Joyce - it was such a great exhibition and it was a real great excuse to go to Landguard Fort, which is one of our region's overlooked treasures. I hope your son finds the post very useful.

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