Experiment for Video
As I was making my proposal for the Spring Show, I decided to sort through my collection of masks I would be using to make the turtles. The masks had been in quarantine so far, to make it safe for both myself, and anyone who touches them. I decided to first disinfect the masks with boiling water and disinfectant. I then put them in the washing machine to clean further. As I was writing my proposal form, I glanced over at my washing machine and saw the most interesting sight. The masks were tumbling over and over one another, with the water foaming up at the base of the drum. It looked like an ocean, with waves of disposable masks. I sat and watched for a while, before realising that it would look incredible as a video piece. I filmed it several ways, before doing a slow motion video of the masks. I have several films and experiments but I have included one here to show. It is so incredible that something I had not planned will become a large part of my project. I have always waited for an accidental moment which would feature in my work as this year I have been very organised and everything has been planned. I see the video as part of my pre-recorded film for the show reel, but I need to plan ways to incorporate it further.
These photographs are the end result of what I had planned to do. My concept behind the images is that the mask has been transformed into a turtle, instead of destroying it. It is a message of both hope, and a plea for change. I am asking people to wake up. It is all too easy to ignore what we cannot see. We do not physically see the turtles dying from disposable masks, from plastic pollution, but they do. Even if the turtles do not die from eating or becoming tangled in the plastic, ingesting it can make them feel like they are full, and they often die of starvation as a result.
I was amazed to discover that leatherback turtles can actually be found in the sea around Wales. They are not that far away… I am both making a change through actively collecting and transforming the masks, and trying to encourage others to either change their habits by stopping using the masks in the first place, or doing something else with them so they have an afterlife.
I showed these images and my film of the masks in the washing machine to my group for feedback. I received very positive feedback and some ideas to move forward with. I think I will combine the video with the photographs to make a film. I want the style to be documentary like, but infused with symbolism and art. I have an idea to create something similar to the piece we watched in one of the workshops – Apology to the Great Auk – where I apologise to the turtles for what we are doing to them. I will experiment further with these ideas this weekend, as I need to submit my film by Sunday night this week.