Julia Barton: NEO Terra
Saturday, October 8th 2016 - Saturday, November 12th 2016
The artist, Julia Barton explains: “Plastic in all its forms is weaving itself into the fabric of the earth’s ecosystems and earth itself, silently burying within because little is being done to prevent or manage it. The stark prediction is it will provide a future legacy and record of our human interaction with the earth - an environmental catastrophe in waiting.”
The exhibition is the culmination of 3 years research and development of Julia’s Littoral Art Project, www.littoralartproject.com, which is gradually working its way along Scotland’s coastline, beginning in Ross-shire and is now visiting Shetland.
Julia spent spring 2016 working with Shetland Amenity Trust, through its Dunna Chuck Bruck anti-litter campaign, leading workshops to raise awareness of the problem and looking at ways to tackle it. Through this they delivered a range of workshops to 15 schools throughout the islands, involving 227 pupils ranging in age from primary 1 to Secondary 4.
The workshops focused on a range of issues related to beach litter, such as sources of litter, the harm it can cause, degradation rates, and micro plastics. During the workshops Julia and the children also identified and collected plastiglomerates, a category of rock acknowledged by scientists as a marker of human pollution on the geological record.
These plastiglomerates make up part of the thousands Julia has collected from beaches and used to create the central part of the exhibition, a floor-based installation. The exhibition will also highlight areas covered in the children’s workshops and include some of their findings as well as a special animation made by Julia in collaboration with Shetland film maker JJ Jamieson.
Sita Goudie, Shetland Amenity Trust Environmental Improvement officer: “Julia’s creative approach really makes you think about this serious environmental issue and how we can all influence the amount of litter entering the marine environment. The workshops she undertook throughout Shetland in the spring really inspired the children and made them look at the litter they pick up as part of the annual Voar Redd Up in another way and question what else they can do about it. I believe the exhibition Julia has produced as a result of this will be memorable for everyone involved in the project and those who visit and engage with the exhibition.”
Julia will be present in the gallery on many days during the exhibition and looks forward to meeting visitors, particularly on Friday afternoons between 2.00pm and 4.00pm.