July 23, 2019

Is environmental education only skin-deep?

Is environmental education only skin-deep?

Kerry MacKay, 28

The story of this seahorse started while beachcombing. Seaglass has become a popular treasure and there are many artists using these wave worn pieces of glass to make jewellery and accessories. While out walking, I picked up this piece of seaglass, commenting that it was larger than usual. My friend asked why that might be and I quickly discovered that he did not know where seaglass came from! He thought it naturally came from the sea, like shells. I suddenly realised just how poor environmental education is, that many people do not realise how pervasive pollution is in the world today.

I created this piece to symbolise the beautification of our waste. Many of us will remember the viral photo of the seahorse clinging to a cotton bud (by Justin Hofman), and the sense of guilt that came with it. The internal seaglass symbolises how pollution has become such a pervasive part of our world. Studies have shown we eat thousands of microplastic pieces each year. The seahorse is an animal of delicate mystique, pure and free. Yet even these enigmatic creatures are fighting for survival amidst our onslaught of environmental indifference.

Seahorse - Within and without, 2019Wire, beads, seaglass, cotton bud, slate20cm x 13cm