MICROBEPLASTICA - ARTISTS STATEMENT (catalogue excerpt).
This exhibition in the Anthropocene era takes a look the crossover of science as fact and art practice as representation. This journey was implemented to discover the lasting impact of plastic consumerism on our ecosystem and how our own environment can adapt. My interest is in understaning what we are faced with and what is at the forefront of scientific research regarding the possibility of a plastic-eating bacterium that could assist in solving the urgent pollution issues of plastic litter in our waterways.
For this residency, the research focus was to target single-use packaging as a surface for bacteria to adhere. It led to the discovery that a study on polypropoleyne (PP) ws already being investigated. Polypropylene, also known as (PP) today, is moulded or extruded into many plastic products where toughness, flexibility, heat resistance and lightweight is required. I followed leading researchers at RMIT University on a journey to their micro world.
This experience made possible by the CULTURE AT WORK Art-Science Residency program, has prompted future collaboration in communicating further progress made towards locating the existence of an underwater plastic-eating bacterium.
SCIENTIST STATEMENT (catalogue excerpt).
Fantastic Plastic has transformed and significantly benefited our global society over the last sixty years. However, research from across the world over the last decade has revealed coutnry size oceanic plastic garbage pathces, millions of pieces of plastic on uninhabited Pacific islands and major environmental impacts upon our aquatic and marine life, as discarded and waste plastics flood into our aquatic environments. Notably most of this plastic is now present in small fragments (microplastics) of a few millimetres in size or smaller, which can readily enter the aquatic food chain.