Land/Sea is an exhibition which explores the tension between human activity and interventions in the natural environment.
Land/Sea – which is a Ffotogallery Touring Exhibition and is currently on display at Aberyswyth Arts Centre – includes selected groups of work from artist Mike Perry’s series Môr Plastig (Welsh for ‘plastic sea’), in which he collects and forensically photographs plastic objects such as bottles, shoes and packaging washed up on the beaches of West Wales.
In the exhibits, the artist addresses how the natural biodiversity of landscapes and marine environments is undermined and made toxic by human neglect, agricultural mismanagement and the pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of long-term sustainability.
By using a high-resolution camera to capture the surface detail, the artist allows the viewer to ‘read’ markings and scars etched into the objects by the ocean over months and, in some cases, years.
Displayed in taxonomical grids as if they are scientific specimens, the artist invites the viewer to consider the environmental impact of consumerism and the erosive power of nature. In his ongoing series Wet Deserts, Perry considers the negative impact of monocultural land use and over-intensive cultivation, and the process of ‘re-wilding’ by which nature reclaims its biodiversity.
Mike Perry, whose work is increasingly influenced by the surrounding landscape and environmental concerns, is currently converting a coastal sheep farm in West Wales into a site for sustainable architecture and art.
Land/Sea (Tir/Môr) is on at the Aberyswyth Arts Centre until 17 November
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea