CULTURE AT WORK
Artist in Residence 2017 – Carolyn Cardinet
The focus of this residency is to investigate the cross over of science as fact and art practice as representation in order to understand what society is faced with and what is at the forefront of science in finding a solution towards single-use plastic packaging. I will explore the concern with the lasting impact of plastic consumerism and how our own environment adapts to human impact.
Fantastic Plastic has transformed and significantly benefited our global society over the last sixty years. However, research from across the world over the last decade has revealed country-size oceanic plastic garbage patches, millions of pieces of plastic on uninhabited-Pacific islands and major environmental impacts upon our aquatic and marine life, as discarded and waste plastics flood into our aquatic environments.
‘Carolyn’s ‘Microbeplastica’ provides a window into this hidden microscopic microbial world as she portrays the amazing transformations that occur on a simple plastic surface once it enters a major urban river, modelling the attachment and growth of diverse and beautiful microbes to create a new habitat called the ‘plastisphere’. Carolyn’s beautiful artwork is inspired by our research at RMIT University employing electron microscope imagery of plastic surfaces recovered from the Yarra River, Melbourne over a three month plastic exposure experiment, to allow the microscopic world of the aquatic plastisphere to be revealed.’ Mark Osborn (Professor of Microbiology, RMIT University).