Archive for May, 2012
Inspiration is all around us, however some experiences leave an indelible mark that alter not only your consciousness, but influence all that comes thereafter.
My recent trip to North Stradbroke Island in Queensland as part of an education research fellowship was one such event. Although I have been very conscious of environmental issues and have taught Environmental Education for the last 4 years, this trip to the Moreton Bay Research Station as part of the Teachwild project consolidated for me the essential importance of this issue for us all and the necessity for education of the students currently in our schools.
The three year project involves gathering and documenting data on marine debris for the entire coastline of Australia. Schools around Australia will be participating in funded ‘scientist for a day’ visits from CSIRO scientists to map their own part of the coastline for marine debris. I’m sure everyone has heard of the Pacific Ocean Trash Vortex however the significant effects of this plastic junk in our oceans is brought home to you when you have performed a necropsy on a dead sea bird and find the stomach choked up with balloons and glow sticks.
During our week on ‘Straddie’ we collected data on marine debris through the necropsies, beach surveys, Moreton Bay trawls and further analysis of the debris though the use of spectrophotometry. I was joined on this week by teachers from Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne as well as a Park Ranger from Phillip Island. Our week long immersion was assisted and led by CSIRO scientists, lecturers and PhD students from University of Queensland and Earthwatch. The blog I wrote for my students can be accessed here and the blogs of the other teachers via the 7 day project tab>Teacher’s Blogs.
How does this relate to Textile Art?
There is a huge movement, especially in art/ist saturated areas such as Melbourne in vintage and re/upcycling. Op Shops are de rigueur. The extent of this waste problem reaffirms my decision not to purchase any item that could be replaced by something more environmentally sound. I am now absolutely sure that any message in my artwork will be one that promotes environmental principles.