10 March – 2 June 2018
Gina Glover: the Entangled Bank, highlights the problem of plastic waste. Bottles discarded by the side of the road are a problem everywhere. People still throw bottles out of car windows into the verges. They probably do this without even thinking of the consequences, as we all know by now that it is wrong.
Discarded bottles acquired beauty
Gina Glover became very concerned by this problem. She began to collect plastic bottles from roadside verges in 2003. It began as mission, but became an artistic project. She made scanograms of each using a black box mounted on a flat-bed scanner. The bottles may represent no more than thoughtlessly discarded plastic waste. However, they acquired beauty as a result of her treatment. To the viewer they may seem akin to human portraits, even imparting the to the objects some nobility.
The problems of plastic waste
Human-produced toxic waste began long before the onset of consumerism and the availability of modern plastics. Some plastics persist in the environment for thousands of years, with serious consequence for sensitive ecological processes and food webs. We buy 13 billion plastic water bottles every year in the UK. Why can’t society, do without them? They exist ultimately for our own selfish benefit. Only a quarter of them are recycled. In its manufacture, a single one litre plastic bottle requires 162g of oil and seven litres of water. And it produces 100gs of carbon dioxide.
There is no waste in nature
The title of this project draws upon the final page of Charles Darwin’s famous Origin of Species. Here Darwin speaks of an earth bank covered by grass and other flora. This was a place not so different from where Glover collected bottles. For Darwin, such banks formed storehouses of biological complexity where the waste of one species composed the food for another. Waste is sometimes referred to as ‘matter in the wrong place’ . However, Darwin showed that there is no waste in nature.
About the artist
Gina Glover is a photographer with a long-term interest in environments affected by human conflict and economic development. She is founder of the London-based photography organisation, Photofusion, and her interests have ranged from exploration of biomedical science related imagery, to the study of environments affected by human conflict and economic development. She previously exhibited at Groundwork in Fire and Ice, together with her daughter, Jessica Rayner.