Objects of the Anthropocene Series, 2018, oil on paper, 297 x 420mm

We are living in the age of the Anthropocene in which every part of our planet bears the marks of our presence. Human activity has impacted heavily on the environment causing ecological devastation. 

 

Using the tropes of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age of Painting, such as soft lighting and dark backgrounds in the still life genre, I convey the plastic materials of the 21st century. 

 

My work aims to highlight single use plastics that have permeated every aspect of our lives. It is accumulating at an alarming rate in the oceans and landfill, where they break down into microplastics, polluting our water, endangering wildlife, leaching toxins and entering our food chain. They can take hundreds if not thousands of years to degrade, yet we use these products for five or ten minutes then we toss them away.

 

I would like us to rethink our relationship with single use items and consider the cost, not just to the natural world but ultimately to ourselves. What will be the consequences if we continue to feed our addiction to convenience?

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© 2019 Deirdre Boeyen Carmichael