The pieces in this exhibition have been woven from discarded fishing line and ghost nets.
So what exactly is a ghost net? These are nets that have become lost, abandoned or discarded at sea and left to float freely, drifting the oceans with the currents and tides. They frequently cause lacerations to marine wildlife and drownings due to entanglement. Seasonal weather patterns in northern Australia sweep these nets from South East Asia into the Gulf of Carpentaria, capturing wildlife and washing up on the beaches. A shocking sight to be seen and an agonising death for many creatures.
The reef bommie featured here was made by the community of Mapoon in Far North Queensland from materials assembled after a beach clean-up in June 2013. Over 3 tonnes of marine debris was collected from only 11km of coastline.
High above this, hanging from the ceiling, the jellyfish were woven from discarded fishing line. The fibre artist responsible for these, Aly de Groot, aims to highlight our unsustainable living practices, which result in extreme ‘rubbishing’ of the sea.
This isn’t the first time I’ve highlighted ocean waste on my blog, as I looked in some detail at the recycling artwork of John Dahlsen in assignment 1.
This ocean ‘littering’ is an issue that not only affects marine life but has the potential to influence food stocks, pollution, disease, the health of our water supply and much, much more.