Madihah Mahmood

Madihah Mahmood's exhibit

3-Dimensional Design Specialism

After watching the documentary ‘Drowning in Plastics’, it was horrifying to learn that plastics have entered the food chain. Through our consumption of seafood, toxins from plastics are found in humans, yet not enough research has been done to observe the effects. Initial research has shown that ingesting plastics can leach toxins into the body. For example, some were found to disrupt the reproductive system in oysters.

Most microplastics are created through the breakdown of larger plastics, proving that it does not take hundreds of years for plastics to disappear as previously thought. Instead, they deteriorate until they become easily digestible to organisms, like plankton, who lie at the bottom of the food chain.

I explored representing the deterioration process of larger pieces of plastic, making forms that looked like an entanglement of thin strands. This mimicked the idea of plastics being mistaken for food by wildlife, such as turtles confusing bags for jellyfish. I wanted to imagine where these forms could end up far past my lifetime. Is it possible we can find a solution to prevent pollution in the oceans? Or will it end up on the seabed, meeting the fate of most plastics ever produced?