Abi Watson

Abigail Watson's exhibit

Visual Communication Specialism

At the start of week 1. I initially looked into the documentary ‘Drowning in Plastic’. This instantly highlighted many issues surrounding plastic waste and how if we keep going in the same direction as we are now, there are going to be even more major environmental effects than at present. After watching the documentary, I felt most drawn to the areas on how plastic affects the environment, initially looking into the effects of microplastics and animals consuming plastic. I looked into the effects of humans eating microplastics and how many are coming from the seafood we eat because marine animals are eating the plastic, mistaking it for food. I then did a thought-provoking photoshoot where I positioned different types of plastic in a bowl and on a plate to make it seem like food. I felt that the reaction to this photo shoot instantly made you think that, if roles were reversed you would feel more empathetic to the plight of marine animals eating plastic.

I experimented with different thumbnails of potential ideas, reversing some roles of humans and sea life or animals who live by the ocean. I liked the idea of using birds as subject matter, however, I felt more research was needed to look into the effects specifically on birds eating plastic. I looked into the highly emotive film by Chris Jordan ‘Albatross’ showing the life and death of seabirds on an island due to consuming plastic. These birds were literally full of plastic and it was quite horrific to watch. In tutorials, other students had similar feelings, some said they physically couldn’t watch. Due to these quite visceral reactions, I felt I wouldn’t make my poster grotesque, just thought provoking.

Using the imagery of the birds choking on the plastic, I put a human in that spot with a seagull using a plastic bottle not noticing what was happening right next to them. I edited the different features together, however, I noticed that the only plastic actually used in the poster was acrylic paint, so I chose to create a similar image of a bird next to the sea but made it from collaged plastic, referring back to when I felt the bird was full up of plastic.

My final outcome really made me think about just how much plastic I use and what or who it will affect in the future. I wanted to provoke change and I hope by creating an image made of plastic, it will make people look a little further into what they are consuming.