While roaming the aisles at the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market I had the pleasure of meeting artist Marina DeBris and Carolynn Box, the Environmental Coordinator for The 5 Gyres Institute. The two had teamed up to bring attention to the tons of waste dumped into the world’s oceans, mostly by maritime industries such as cruise ships, commercial fishing, oil platforms and the shipping trade.
They were bedecked in tangles of ocean debris that Marina found on the beaches near her California home. The trash beautifully entwined in their hair and around their necks made an effective visual statement and prompted me to stop and chat with them.
I learned that a gyre is a spiral oceanic surface current driven primarily by the global wind system and constrained by the continents. Plastic pollution gathers in the world’s five sub-tropical gyres.
Box explained that The 5 Gyres Institute’s mission is to conduct research and to communicate about the global impact of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and to employ strategies to eliminate the accumulation of plastic pollution in the 5 subtropical gyres.
DeBris collects ocean trash and converts it into art. She encourages the viewer to question the use of single use items and to consider ways to reduce waste so it doesn’t end up in our oceans or landfills. To see more of her work visit her site Washed Up - Pollution Reborn as Art. I encourage you to click through her portfolio!
I was inspired to take the Plastic Promise and encourage you to do the same.
I was just learning to use a new camera when I took this picture of DeBris (L) and Box – pretty awful! But I hope it gives a sense of Marina’s DeBris’ humorous artistic flair.
You might also like “Re-cycle Runway”.