Statement - Unknown Entities
"On any given day, millions upon millions of plastic objects slowly dissolve into the Earth’s soil, air and water. Working their way into the nutrients ingested by the creatures of the planet, plastic's microscopic compounds are now found deep within the very flesh of animal and human. For this on-going project, Unknown Entities, I explore and offer a visual interpretation of the deepening plastics crisis.
I focused my camera on found objects that have already begun their dissolution or that inevitably will with time. The shifting materials caught in the endless fences of Canada’s prairies - the inspiration for further investigation - and a variety of objects gleaned from my own refuse, that of neighbours and friends, and other materials found or still in use but whose particles are destined to become embedded in the biosphere.
Using fine wire rigging and long exposures of seconds and minutes in combination with the currents of wind and water, these photographs reflect a reality of plastic, one of the most ubiquitous substances on the planet, as an unknown entity literally diffusing, dissolving and evolving into the fabric of life itself. While common sense might suggest some disturbing conclusions, scientific studies are only just beginning on the long-term health effects of these compounds. Through these photographs it is my intention to raise questions of economic and political systems as they weigh profit, efficiency and convenience against public welfare."
“It is very difficult to tell how this plastic may be affecting us. But they definitely do enter our bodies. It is the really small stuff we get worried about, as they can get through the membranes in the gut and in the bloodstream – that is the real fear.”
- Rachel Hurley, Doctoral Researcher at the University of Manchester, quoted in: Damian Carrington, "Microplastic pollution in oceans is far worse than feared, say scientists", The Guardian, March 12, 2018.