whale in the room
Whale in the Room is an installation commissioned by The Newlyn Art Gallery at The Exchange, Penzance, that serves as a stark reminder of the pressing issue of marine plastic pollution and its devastating impact on sea life and coastal ecosystems. The 380 kilograms of plastics, retrieved from the sea by Clean Ocean Sailing, a Cornish organisation dedicated to cleaning expeditions, vividly represents the amount of plastic waste that enters the world’s oceans every single second.
The lights rhythmically flash onto the suspended marine debris, effectively acting as a metronome for the alarming pace at which plastic pollution is infiltrating our seas. This figure equates to a staggering 12 million tonnes of plastic each year, wreaking havoc on our delicate marine ecosystem.
As you stand in front of the installation, your sightlines are entangled in the web of nets and plastic debris. It’s only when one actively takes a seat in the circle of recycled plastic chairs, a forum for discussion, that you can see eye-to-eye with one another. A shared responsibility and collective action are needed to prevent the escalation of marine plastic pollution.
This space will host a programme of talks, demonstrations, and events, facilitated by local environmental groups addressing issues of marine pollution, and other concerns for our coastal communities.
Photography: Megan Isaaks
Videography: Clare James
Open 18 Nov 2023 - 13 Apr 2024
Link to Storm Warning exhibition