The Beauty of Ocean Art

Artistic creation made using plastic found in the body of birds

Leah-Anne Thompson /

World Oceans Day fell on the 8th of June, with this year’s focus being on preventing plastic ocean pollution. In support of this, artists from all over the world have created exciting new pieces that make use of marine plastic, hoping that the beauty and exploratory nature of their ocean art will inspire others to think deeply about their individual role when it comes to plastic ocean pollution.

Plastic Beach by Gilles Cenazandotti
Gilles Cenazandotti is a French artist that has created a collection titled Plastic Beach. Featuring life-sized sculptures of various animals, each piece has been created using plastic litter that the artist has found on a beach. Focussing on endangered animal species, each sculpture is extraordinarily detailed, yet draw attention to the large amount of litter that ends up deposited on beaches. By placing these sculptures in natural environments, the artist manages to create an almost dystopian scene, in which animals have evolved in unpredictable ways.

Oceanic by Nick Pumphrey
Nick Pumphrey is a fashion and lifestyle photographer, as well as an ambassador for an Australian organization that deals with ocean pollution. On a recent diving trip to Nusa Lembongan, which is near Bali, Indonesia, the photographer was horrified at what he witnessed below the surface of the ocean and luckily had his camera with him to capture the experience. These powerful images feature marine life swimming through a sea of ocean trash, showcasing an underwater viewpoint that is rarely seen by the public.

Hong Kong Soup 1826 by Mandy Barker
Hong Kong Soup 1826 is a series of photographs that feature the waste collected from over 30 different Hong Kong beaches. Each and every day, around 1826 tons of plastic waste from Hong Kong is dumped into landfills, hence the title of the series and each of the images created has significance when it comes to Hong Kong culture, traditions and events. The artist hopes to raise awareness of the massive amount of waste that Hong Kong creates each day, by creating an emotional response from the public, which could possibly lead to social change.

Floating Artifacts by Evelyn Rydz
Floating Artifacts is a series of photographs and illustrations featuring man-made objects that have been washed ashore. The artist collected these objects before examining them under a microscope and then creating her photographs and illustrations, presenting them in a way that allows the viewer to truly see them up close. This close-up view makes each of these small pieces of debris seem almost like shards of ancient pottery, or even sparkling gemstones, while showing the effect that the ocean has had on these various objects over the years.

Art has always had the power to inspire and move people, and with ocean pollution having such a devastating impact on the planet, artists all over the world are focussing on the subject. From the detailed photographs of Evelyn Rydz to the life-sized sculptures of Gilles Cenazandotti, each of these artists has managed to create beauty from ocean pollution, while highlighting the urgency of the current situation.


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