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Hands All Over

Fortyfive Downstairs

Exhibition Runs

10 -21 April 2018

Artist Statement

Hands All Over is a comment on how convenience, industrialisation and modern materials are impacting the natural world.

In today’s world, it is virtually impossible to live without plastics. As a photographer, I am acutely aware of the fact given the materials used in contemporary lenses, cameras, computers and so on invariably contain more and more plastic. The transition away from metals and more traditional construction materials has happened in plain sight, yet seems to have somehow crept up on us. Perhaps this simply reflects the apathy out there in the community.

Given the relatively recent invention and mass production of plastics, virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists in one form or another. Plastics can take 500 – 1,000 years to degrade, meaning the litter found in these otherwise pristine landscapes will likely outlive the natural aspects of the landscape, and indeed ourselves.

Items like plastic bags, plastic containers and coffee cups are typically disposed of after being used only once. Sadly, a huge proportion of this waste from our plastic addiction finds its way into our rivers, streams, oceans and nature reserves. It is estimated that by 2050 that the amount of plastic found in our oceans and waterways will vastly outweigh that of the fish and coral.

While shooting the series I was determined to show that plastic can be reused or recycled and serve purposes other than as single use packaging. Inspired by the years I’ve spent working in the fashion industry, I started to create garments out of plastic waste products including a pompom dress made using plastic shopping bags, a dress made from bubble wrap and a wearable sphere made from discarded milk bottle tops. All of the items worn in the photographs have been painstakingly made by hand.

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