Featured News Art and science join for the Great Barrier Reef

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Wed, 21 Mar 2018

Art and science join for the Great Barrier Reef

Art and science come together at The Cairns Institute in Plasticene Marine, an exhibition drawing attention to the effect that the 250,000 tonnes of plastic floating in the ocean has on marine habitats.

On Thursday (March 22) volunteers from Boomerang Bags will join the exhibition to craft bags from recycled materials which they will give away to stimulate conversation about the need to move away from our society’s throwaway mentality.

Theme Leader for Creativity and Innovation at The Cairns Institute, Associate Professor Jennifer Deger, said beauty and horror mingled in the art created by Robyn Glade-Wright and Barbara Dover for Plasticene Marine.

“The visual art which includes sculpture, drawings and photos is repurposed from marine debris collected by Tangaroa Blue volunteers at regular beach clean-ups,” Dr Deger said.

“It is accompanied by videos featuring commentary from James Cook University scientists and community activists including performance poet Helen Ramoutsaki whose Nanna Wrap character MC Nannarchy delivers a humorous take on being a plastic queen.

“Coral biologist Associate Professor Mia Hoogenboom discusses her research showing that large plastics can break down to microplastics around the same size as plankton which can be eaten by coral and fish.

“Associate Professor Mark Hamann talks about plastic pollution as one of the greatest threats to turtles, especially young turtles which mistakenly eat plastics in non-stop eating frenzies.

“The amount of rubbish found on the beach is shown by Kuku Yalanji Traditional Owner Bennett Walker from Cooya Beach and Matt Weldon from Tangaroa Blue, who says a record 7 tonnes of marine debris was found at Chilli Beach on Cape York Peninsula.”

Plasticene Marine is at The Cairns Institute until 26 April. Boomerang Bags volunteers will join the exhibition on Thursday (March 22) from 10am to 1.30pm.