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Jo Atherton

Artist , Self Employed in Harrold United Kingdom

Oceanographers and biologists can study the state of our seas and all the processes contained therein, but intercepting the tideline offers a unique resource for artistic interpretation of would-be relics of the future.

Our oceans have become a soup of flotsam; a suspension of orphaned objects temporarily deposited on our coastline twice a day. These plastic fragments are symptomatic of the modern age. Indeed prior to the Second World War and the advent of mass produced plastics, beachcombing the tideline would result in an organic bounty – a smoothed piece of driftwood, or perhaps an unusual shell, not the man-made and toxic detritus so common on beaches of the world today.

Through my work I highlight the diversity of plastic objects washing ashore on the British coastline, and how the ubiquity of this material enables us to reinterpret stories of our time. The longevity of plastic allows many discarded items to undergo incredible transatlantic journeys before settling as a disparate collection of relics along the shore.

Notwithstanding obvious environmental concerns, intercepting the tideline reveals the pervasiveness of plastic in our lives and in turn, affords insights into our tastes, lifestyles and histories.

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Flotsam Weaving

BY JO ATHERTON
@ VOL 2 ON JUN 05, 2014

Artist Jo Atherton weaves artwork from flotsam found washed up on beaches. Their cheerful familiar forms belie a shocking truth: we get older but plastic remains.

"Presentation of the Day" on July 21, 2014.

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Time and Tide

BY JO ATHERTON
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 27, 2016

Artist Jo Atherton highlights the diversity of plastic objects washing ashore on the British coastline, and how the ubiquity of this material enables us to reinterpret stories of our time. Millions of years ago, fuelled by sunlight, marine plankton flourished and then settled on the ocean floor, slowly transforming into oil. This same oil is used to produce the endless plastic objects that dominate our everyday lives. When inked and printed, plastic flotsam fragments bear a stark resemblance to the rich diversity of microscopic marine life - a worrying and ironic connection to a beautiful natural process. 

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PAST VOL 7

St Neots @ St Neots Rowing Club
Sep 27, 2016

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PAST PechaKucha Event

Powered by PechaKucha @ The Old Town Hall
Feb 12, 2015

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PAST VOL 2

Bedford @ The George and Dragon
Jun 05, 2014