The thermoplastic polymer, polystyrene, is a ubiquitous artificial
material used in the manufacture of tens of millions of consumer
products worldwide - from disposable coffee cups and packaging,
to building insulation and explosives.
It is also a major environmental pollutant and significant threat
to marine life including mammals, fishes and birds. The factors
that make it so broadly useful - lightweight, inert, low material
to volume ratio - make it uneconomic for recycling, and so it
accumulates as waste rather than entering industrial recycling
and reuse chains.
In the creation of unbleached Ferracin laboriously, patiently,
threaded polystyrene beads - the form most dangerous to
ocean dependent life - to create ghostly skeletal starburst
forms reminiscent of algae, seaweeds, molecular diagrams,
or the devastating global phenomena of coral bleaching.
It takes on average 75 minutes to create each form. During a
recent coastal camping trip with a group of artist colleagues,
others decided to help Ferracin by each making a ‘creature’.
Presented within a simple timber box reminiscent of the tiny
theatre of the home aquarium, the assembled colony of pseudo-
organisms is animated by projected video of those same
minuscule flying insects chasing about in forest sunlight.
Here, that brief ephemeral encounter is presented as a ritual
talismanic offering of hopefulness.
This humble space, almost hidden from view, discoverable
by the curious visitor, is bathed in blue light and enlivened by
underwater sound recordings to remind us of the hidden depths
of the ocean, to bring to mind the beauty of life there and our
shared responsibility to work toward a future with less