LIFE IN PLASTIC is a new thought-provoking project by Scottish photographer and artist David Gilliver. He has taken bags of plastic and rubbish he picked up along the coast in Scotland and turned it into a inspiring project which focuses on the problem on plastic pollution and the sheer volume of plastic bottles, bottle tops, cans and other rubbish which is ruining our environment as well as Scotland’s beautiful scenery.
We caught up with David to chat about what his latest piece of work:
Can you tell us a bit about your Life In Plastic project?
In 2018 I spent some time collecting bags full of plastic and rubbish that had been discarded (or washed up) next to beaches and lochs on the west coast of Scotland, mostly ‘beauty’ spots. I kept some of this plastic to make my work (recycling the rest) and then returned to the banks of Loch Lomond to photograph this, my latest series – LIFE IN PLASTIC.
What was it that inspired you to create this project?
Littering in general has always sickened me, and after watching ‘Blue Planet II’ I felt like I too could help highlight this issue using my own unique approach. BP II brilliantly highlighted just how serious a problem plastic pollution is, and to see the damage it is causing to our oceans and wildlife globally was sickening. It immediately inspired me to do something that might help, and, as I am an artist who uses little figurines in my work this was the idea that sprang to mind.
When did you become aware of the volume of plastic that is polluting our countryside?
I’ve always been aware of it to a certain extent, but now that we have a young daughter this has made me increasingly aware of the problem. She is only 4 years old and regularly asks us why there are bottles and litter strewn across the countryside when we are out on family walks. This has really opened my eyes more fully to the problem.
Did this project make you think differently about your own plastic consumption? Was that something you were already aware about or something that you are now conscious of?
Yes. After I had picked up so much litter and plastic waste it definitely made me think about things differently and with a greater sense of urgency. My family and I immediately started making small changes like trying to avoid buying single-use plastics and we refuse to buy plastic straws ever again for example. We also use re-usable water bottles now as the number of plastic bottles that I noticed in the water, in fields, and on beaches etc. was incredibly alarming. We have always regularly recycled, but this project made us up our game.
How do you hope your work will encourage others to think about their own plastic use?
I just hope that the work captures people’s imaginations and then their attention and helps to make everyone think a little bit more about how serious a problem this is. We can all do our own bit to help. I think the work is rather playful in its initial appearance, but the underlying message is incredibly serious, and I hope it highlights just how urgently action is required to be taken by everyone.
To find out more about David’s work you can visit his website here.