At the start of 2019 we were approached by Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE). This group of Irish citizens have entered legal proceedings with the Irish Government based upon their claim that they are knowingly contributing to dangerous levels of climate change.

In February of this year we painted a piece inspired by climate change in an attempt to raise awareness regarding the actions of FIE. Given the complexity and urgency of the problem we felt we needed to do more.

Shortly afterwards we painted a piece inspired by the life and work of David Attenborough, as a nod to his fight against the desecration of our planet and its wildlife. Dublin City Council have requested this piece be removed. We intend to use the disagreement to draw attention to the legal proceedings and generate support for FIE.

At present, the health & vitality of our entire ecosystem is in jeopardy. Extinction, pollution and global warming threaten the earth more than ever. Natural influences are no longer responsible for the rapid reengineering of our planet.

We have developed and designed three artworks in order to confront the ugly truth that modern life is choking the earth, whether we can see it or not. One of these artworks will be produced in Denver, Colorado at Crush Walls Festivals. Another showcased in the Royal Hibernian Academy.

And the final piece on a prominent building in Temple Bar.

The Problem

The climate issue is universal, and convoluted.
We decided to focus on one key element of the climate catastrophe - plastic pollution.

Plastic is one of the world’s most pervasive pollutants. It is a malleable and versatile material, insatiably demanded by nearly every major industry in the world. Approximately 300 million tons of plastic are manufactured each year. In brutal contrast, plastic is nearly impossible to destroy. It only breaks down, shredding into smaller pieces. This gives rise to a proliferation of tiny shards of the material, less than 5mm in length - microplastics.

Studies have emerged indicating that microplastics ingested by marine life cause inflammation and decrease feeding, ultimately depleting energy reserves (Wieczorek et al., 2018) and killing the organism. The scale of global contamination is only starting to become clear, with a recent study finding microplastics in 83 percent of tap water samples collected from around the world (Tyree and Morrison, 2017). The extent of the damage is widely unknown.

The Idea

Plastic is omnipresent in our lives, and the “disposable” culture of today’s society propels the ubiquity of the material.

In Trinity’s AML (Advanced Microscopy Laboratory), we carried out microscopic assessment of samples collected from our ocean. The proliferation of microplastics can only be truly understood through a microscope. We collected a vast array of visual imagery which evidenced the fact that plastic has percolated deep into the environment. Our research provided crucial inspiration for our series of artworks.

We are presenting the collision of nature and human waste.

The Series